Apprenticeship Degrees blogAndy Louden, Ross-Shire Engineering (RSE)

Andy Louden is a Design Manager at Ross-Shire Engineering (RSE) and is responsible for supporting the company’s graduate apprentices. Andy’s blog contribution discusses the role of a graduate apprentice within his department and the value that employing a graduate apprentice brings to both the individual and the company.

RSE employee, Jack Brisbane, graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2021 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering, Design, and Manufacture. This was through a graduate apprenticeship which meant he was studying for a degree whilst working full time.

Jack was able to fulfil several key project roles whilst working for RSE, including leading on mechanical engineering tasks for the Chemical Dosing team whilst working on an innovative ceramic membrane treatment plant.

In his penultimate year, Jack built on his university learning to help RSE improve the design process for chemical dosing systems. In his final year, Jack’s project was fully aligned with RSE’s business aspirations, with ambitious targets to transform design for manufacture and assembly for a key product.

Throughout his graduate apprenticeship, the University of Strathclyde’s undergraduate course was excellent at instilling general business skills within Jack’s learning – for example, minuting key meetings, planning and monitoring tasks, and contrasting work-based practice with university-based learning.

Following receipt of Jack’s results from the University of Strathclyde, RSE was delighted to recognise Jack’s achievements with promotion to the role of DFMA/Product Development Lead. To date, Jack has been building on his Year 4 project focusing on further development and innovation of a core product for a key client.

The graduate apprenticeship programme at the University of Strathclyde has proven to be an excellent place for developing the calibre of student best suited to RSE’s graduate programme and career opportunities.

There are a number of benefits of a Graduate Apprenticeship between RSE and the University of Strathclyde, including:

• the graduate apprenticeship programme consists of a 20% university-based and 80% work-based learning split; with a large proportion of the 80% spent on work that supports both student and work-based development.
• the student is equally supported by the university and RSE; every year the student is encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their own development.
• the student will gain experience of working with engineers well established in their roles and industry, working with colleagues across the business and wider RSE Group.
• the student can gain professional responsibilities and maturity whilst undertaking their work-based learning, in parallel with their university-based development.
• the student can graduate debt-free, with valuable engineering skills and sound workplace experience.

Both RSE and the University look forward to Jack’s career continuing to grow and flourish within the company.

If you're interested in learning more about undertaking a graduate apprenticeship with RSE, please contact

Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland are funded by Scottish Funding Council