Associate feature: Graduate Apprenticeships are changing lives

Written by Karen Petrie on 1 March 2019 in Comment

Graduate Apprenticeships support the learning and development of new and existing employees, helping them to achieve up to a Master’s degree level qualification whilst in paid employment

Image credit: MMphoto

At Dundee University, we have a Graduate Apprentice studying for a degree in IT: Management for Business,who would never have come to University otherwise.

He is in his 50s and his job function, until two years ago, was to keep the servers running. 

His manager proudly told me that he is one of their most loyal employees, the person who would come in night and day if there were any issues at all with the server, the person who they had to force to take their holidays.

One day, the organisation decided to move its services into the Cloud.

At that, this person’s job disappeared.

However, the organisation wanted to keep this very loyal employee. So, they needed a solution to change his skill set. 

This is where Graduate Apprenticeships came along and helped.

Graduate Apprenticeships are delivered by universities and colleges in partnership with employers.

They’ve been created to support the learning and development of new and existing employees, helping them to achieve up to a Master’s degree level qualification whilst in paid employment.

At the age of 55, this man has just started the 2nd year of his Graduate Apprenticeship.

He has already been given more responsibility at work, which he is relishing in! When he completes his apprenticeship in two years’ time, he will be awarded his first degree a BSc Hons in IT: Management for Business with industrial experience.

This story is emblematic of the impact Graduate Apprenticeships can have for people of all ages and backgrounds, and is just one of the great success stories we are seeing.

We could just as easily focus on the woman choosing an Engineering degree as she thinks it will provide a better future for her family, or the young school leaver who had fallen out with ‘traditional’ education but is now thriving as a Graduate Apprentice in Business Management.

The bottom line is that Graduate Apprenticeships are changing lives for the better in Scotland. 

If you are an employer looking to retain existing employees or to expand your workforce please get in touch by contacting and we will be happy to tell you more. There’s also information on

Karen Petrie is Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching at the University of Dundee

This piece was sponsored by the University of Dundee



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