Degree ApprenticeshipsThe myths of Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are not just your typical trades

I often hear parents say “Aren’t Apprenticeships for people who didn’t do well at school?” and “Apprenticeships are for more manual jobs”. I feel great satisfaction in telling them that is not the case and we have moved so far away from the days when Apprenticeships were just for boys in trades.

At Strathclyde, we have been running degree level Apprenticeships since 2017. These include Graduate Apprenticeships in Engineering: Design and Manufacture, IT Software Development, Civil Engineering and Business Management for Scottish based employees and Degree Apprenticeships in Digital & Technology Solutions and Chemical Process Engineering for those based in England. That is not your “typical trade”.

Apprenticeships are not only just for school leavers either. They are open to anyone who is over the age of 16 and working in a job role that is related to the programme of study where they can apply their academic learning back on the job. An Apprenticeship is as equally a great option for those starting out in their career, as well as those who are looking for a career change or to boost their skills to help progress their career. We have learners aged 16 to 57!

Degree level programmes have brought a whole new meaning to the word Apprenticeship. They help build the skills and knowledge that businesses and industries need. They develop employees personally and professionally whilst delivering real value back into businesses. Apprentices will work full time, get paid, achieve a degree and work towards professional accreditation in parallel – even up to master’s level study. No student loan, fully funded tuition and guaranteed a job with years of experience under your belt at the end of your programme. It’s absolutely a win-win-win.

Whilst some young people will want to choose the traditional route to University, Apprenticeships are a true alternative pathway which is becoming more attractive to the young workforce, in an ever-competing landscape. Feedback from those who are studying or completed a Scottish Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) found:

  • 83% of learners said they were satisfied with the GA
  • 89% of learners said they would recommend the GA
  • 86% of learners said what they were studying was relevant to their job

Of course, there is always going to be a place full degrees for many types of roles. However, the majority of what industry needs is what an Apprenticeship Degree can deliver. With our programmes also developed in partnership with industry, what we offer meets those industry needs.

Recent research by Edge Foundation, published earlier this year, confirmed employers are demanding more work-based learning opportunities and it's what they want. Read the full Graduate Apprentices: Developing Scotlands Future Workforce.

Employers support Apprenticeships as they attract the right talent, enhance diversity, help develop skills to support succession planning and help address the skills shortage, particularly in key areas such as IT and Digital skills.

With continued commitment from the UK and Scottish Governments, Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education in continuing to grow and develop degree level Apprenticeships, there's a real opportunity to continue to bridge the gap between academia and the workplace.

Written by Lynsey Joyce, Development Manager for Graduate and Degree Apprenticehips.