An innovative programme which lets engineering apprentices study for a degree through a combination of work-based and online learning has been launched by the University of Strathclyde.
The honours degree in Engineering: Design and Manufacture, is being offered through the Graduate Level Apprenticeship scheme, funded by Skills Development Scotland, and enables employees in companies to study for a degree while working.
Designed in partnership with employers, the programme will develop apprentices’ knowledge, skills, competencies and professional behaviours and produce professionally-qualified engineers eligible for to apply for Incorporated Engineer-level membership of a professional institution through the Engineering Council.
Over the course of the four-year degree programme, learners will acquire knowledge via a blended and online learning delivery model with core engineering competencies being developed through an integrated work-based learning curriculum.
Professor Scott Macgregor, Vice-Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “We’re very excited to launch this programme in partnership with Skills Development Scotland, working with innovative partners to develop highly-qualified engineers needed by industry.
“This unique programme is very much a partnership with employers and will enable them to develop their staff to a high level, while benefiting from employees who can put their learning into practice and help drive businesses forward.
The course design offers an individualised learning experience for a diverse and remote learner population while offering dedicated support from personal tutors, work-based mentors and academics.
“As a leading international technological University, we are proud of our strong and productive links with business and industry, and we look forward to announcing further Graduate Level Apprenticeships in a wide variety of disciplines in the near future.”
The 34 participants in the first cohort have been selected by 12 employers, over half of which are SMEs, and will attend the University one day per month.
Facilitated by world-class academics, the on-campus delivery will allow apprentices to develop skills in Strathclyde’s state of the art facilities, including labs for the demonstration of experimental marine hydrodynamics, top flight engineering simulators and the UK’s only Digital Design suite.
Director of Service Design and Innovation at Skills Development Scotland, Jonathan Clark, said: “Graduate Level Apprenticeships have the potential to transform the way that people access further and higher education.
“The apprentices are employed and paid during their studies, and because much of the learning takes place in the workplace, they have the opportunity to immediately apply what they learn in their jobs.
“This provides opportunities for employers to help shape the skills of their employees and to address skills shortages affecting their industry and the local economy.”
Graduate Level Apprenticeships are currently available in civil engineering; software development; IT business management and engineering design/manufacture – delivered in partnership with nine of Scotland’s universities and colleges.
Skills Development Scotland is working with employers, universities and industry experts to expand courses into new sectors throughout 2018. These include: Business Management, Cyber Security and additional Engineering and Construction frameworks.