Aberdeenshire Council began working with Robert Gordon University (RGU) in 2016 in the early development stages of the Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) scheme.
Nigel Jones, ICT Senior Applications Solutions Analyst, took on the main liaison role and was initially involved in mapping the degree course learning outcomes to actual work done at the Council and helping in the validation.
He is now responsible for mentoring two Graduate Apprentices who are part of the first cohort on the pioneering new scheme which enable participants to earn their degree while working and are delivered in partnership with their employers over the course of four years.
“Working with RGU has been a wonderful experience and the work we have done together has been very interesting,” Nigel said.
“I am impressed that they are prepared to shape the course content to the kinds of real-life work that we do, while also maintaining the academic rigor required for an Undergraduate Degree. They are always willing to listen to suggestions that we make and take them on board where appropriate.”
Nigel believes that this type of approach to work=based learning provides many benefits to both the employer and the apprentice.
“From a GA point of view it’s a great step – at the end of the four-year course they will have a degree and also four years of good work experience, and they are receiving an income at the same time!
“From a company point of view we get good, enthusiastic employees who are keen to learn – their enthusiasm and positivity also rubs off on the rest of the team.”
Nigel thinks that the Council is already seeing the benefits of signing up to the GA scheme and is enjoying the working relationship with academia.
“When we advertised the GA positions we had a large number of very good applicants. The two people we selected are excellent and started adding value to our operation almost immediately – we anticipated that this might take some time.
“At the moment the work they are doing for us – with our support, of course – is more advanced than the coursework, however we anticipate a time when they will be bringing new ideas learned from RGU that will benefit our systems here.
“I have worked closely with RGU for some time during the development and validation of the course, and subsequently since the course start date on how best to support the GAs. I have always found them to be professional, positive, and always willing to help where they can.”
by Rob Smith
Press and Media Enquiries
GAs provide fully funded structured training to degree and MSc level for full-time employees – a great way to upskill your staff and make your business more productive.