SICSA-support workshop on Graduate Apprenticeship funding

30 July 2021

by Matthew Barr, Programme Director Graduate Apprenticeship in Software Engineering, University of Glasgow

The way in which Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) in Scotland are funded is changing.  Previously administered solely by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), monies will now be allocated by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), with SDS retaining oversight of the frameworks on which the GA programmes are based.

In light of these changes, the GA team at the University of Glasgow hosted a SICSA-supported workshop on 29 June 2021 to discuss the issues associated with GA funding.

Most of the institutions involved in delivering software-related GA frameworks in Scotland were represented. We were also pleased to welcome Graeme Hendry, Senior Partnership and Delivery Manager for Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships at SDS, who provided an overview of the current arrangements, insofar as they are known.

The issues discussed predominantly concerned ongoing uncertainty about the fine detail; for example, the relationship between GA funding and the funding for places that universities already receive via their SFC block grants.

While much of the discussion was concerned with how institutions are dealing with this uncertainty, it was acknowledged that a degree of disruption was unavoidable during the transition from one system to another.

Being able to compare notes with other institutions was, as ever, very helpful, and we greatly appreciated Graeme taking the time to come and talk to us. The particulars of the discussion are not documented in detail here, but a comprehensive summary of the issues raised has been shared with Scottish Government.

As a sector, we remain extremely positive about the continued success of software-related Graduate Apprenticeships, and we know that the Scottish Government, SDS and the SFC also see the huge potential in work-based degree programmes.

Hopefully our feedback will be useful in ensuring that funding for these critical programmes is delivered as effectively as possible.

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