Heriot-Watt University Campus, Edinburgh

HERIOT-Watt University has created January start dates across the majority of its Graduate Apprenticeships programmes in a bid to help businesses and boost the economy.

The COVID crisis has undoubtedly presented businesses with many challenges, including economically. The University is confident that the introduction of this flexibility in start dates will provide a timely boost for both businesses and the Scottish economy.

Continued growth in demand for skills development in the Data and IT-related sectors has been a major contributory factor in the University trying to find ways to provide the skills needed to drive growth and create employment opportunities, particularly for the young, during these challenging times.

Gill Murray, Deputy Principal for Enterprise and Business, said “Delivering this additional flexibility to employers is an important step and it comes at an important time. Graduate Apprenticeships bring a number of benefits for employers. For example, creating a pipeline of talented young people, improving employee retention and increased productivity. It’s also important to remember that it’s a priority for the Government, and all of us, to help young people into the workforce. Graduate Apprenticeships are an ideal way to do that.”

Initiatives such as the University’s Responsive-Blended Learning model, along with a restructuring of course content has enabled the range of Graduate Apprenticeships programmes to accommodate the January start. This development is part of a wider range of activities falling under the University’s Recovery Prospectus initiative. As part of that initiative HWU, will also be launching a number of upskilling and reskilling opportunities over the next few months, which will be a crucial time in the Scottish economy. Graduate Apprenticeships are developed by Skills Development Scotland, with support from the European Social Fund.