Graduate apprentices celebrate awards win

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

Strathclyde student Justyna Dabrowska of Peak Scientific Instruments has won the first-ever Graduate Apprentice Rising Star Award.

Justyna, who is in her second year of the Graduate Apprenticeship in Engineering: Design and Manufacture (EDM), was presented with the prize at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in Perth on Thursday 15 November.

At the same ceremony, the Modern Apprenticeship of the Year (SCQF level 5) award went to Robert McLatchie of Scottish Leather Group, who is now studying the Graduate Apprenticeship in EDM with Strathclyde.

Work experience

Graduate Apprenticeships are fully-funded degree programmes which enable an organisation’s new and existing employees to study up to degree level while spending the majority of their time in the workplace.

Strathclyde currently offers three Graduate Apprenticeship programmes in Engineering: Design & Manufacture BEng (Hons); IT: Software Development BSc (Hons); and Business Management BA (Hons). The programmes are funded by Skills Development Scotland and supported by the European Social Fund.

Speaking of her experience within the Graduate Apprentice EDM degree, Justyna said: “The best thing is to get the work experience and academic qualifications together. I’ve just started my second year and I’ve learned so much in my first. Working with other engineers and learning from their experiences has been helpful. I’ve enjoyed applying the theory I’m learning to real life situations.”

Russell Gillespie, Peak Scientific’s Manufacturing Engineering Manager, said: “The role of a Graduate Apprentice within Peak, apart from gaining a professional qualification, is to get under the skin of its products and translate the knowledge gained from study and applied learning to help improve the business’s products and processes.

Within her first year of employment Justyna has been involved in a large number of areas of manufacturing engineering, such as reviewing the factory layout and using her expertise in mathematics to resolve various technical issues.”

Dr Andrew McLaren, Graduate Apprenticeship EDM Programme Director and Vice Dean Academic in the Faculty of Engineering, said: “The award of GA Rising Star 2018 is a great accolade for Justyna and is reflective of the maturity and professionalism she has exhibited throughout the first year of her degree studies. We wish her continued success in her GA EDM studies and career with Peak Scientific Instruments.

“Robert’s achievement to date is commendable, we are delighted to support in his Graduate Apprenticeship EDM degree studies and wish him continued success in his career as a manufacturing engineer.”

A full list of prize-winners is published on the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards web page.