Graduate Apprenticeships


Our Graduate Apprenticeship programme provides the opportunity to gain an industry recognised Higher Education qualification whilst gaining valuable experience in the workplace up to honours degree level.

Graduate Apprenticeships are designed by industry, for industry, to help build the skills you need to succeed, and are based on the standards of professional and regulatory bodies, so your employees have a clear path towards professional recognition.

We provide structured and comprehensive training, delivered in a flexible way to meet your own specific needs as an employer.

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The University of the Highlands and Islands are able to provide the following Graduate Apprenticeships:

In addition, we have just had approval for:

  • BA (Hons) Business Management (Graduate Apprenticeship)
  • BEng Construction and Built Environment (Graduate Apprenticeship)
  • BA (Hons) Software Development (Graduate Apprenticeship)

More details on these qualification will be made available shortly but in the meantime contact:

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Employer Information

Will the apprentices need to be employed?

Yes. Apprentices must be employed for the duration of the programme, and the employer will be responsible for following their normal recruitment and employment practices/policies as with any other member of staff (including organisation induction, the provision of necessary on-the job training and support, and the appropriate management and supervision required to enable them to undertake their duties in the workplace). 

In order to ensure adequate time within the workplace to apply learning and develop competency across the range of programme areas it is a minimum requirement set by SDS that apprentices are employed no less than 21 hours per week.

If you are recruiting a new employee, the university can provide support and guidance to enable you to choose the most suitable candidate who is capable to achieve the qualification and meets your business requirements.

How much should the apprentices be paid?

There is no stipulation as to the level of salary that should be paid to apprentices, except that employment law/minimum wage regulations are followed. It is for the employer to determine the salary level, which will usually be set based on a combination of affordability, payment structure of the organisation and comparison to other posts, and the need to attract candidates within a competitive labour market with the capability and motivation to succeed in the workplace and achieve the academic degree programme requirements.

How is the Graduate Apprenticeship training funded?

This has changed for apprentices in 2021 but the tuition fees will be covered by SAAS funding. The apprentice must apply each year for the fees to be covered but it is not based on household income. Further details will be provided to the apprentice.

What is expected from the employer with regard to the academic and assessment requirements of this programme?

Whilst all academic learning and assessment is the responsibility of the university, the employer’s role in supporting this is essential, and will include:

  • Employing the apprentices for the duration of the three-year programme
  • Signing a tripartite agreement that sets out responsibilities and expectations of all parties
  • Providing a job role and work environment that provides the required level, breadth, and progression opportunities to meet the academic requirements of the programme
  • Ensuring the apprentice is given the necessary time and support within the workplace to reflect on and apply their academic learning, and to gather evidence and develop competence in line with the apprentice’s Personal Development Plan.
  • The Apprentice will undertake online learning depending on the course this might be blocks of face-to-face or virtual sessions; set weekly or monthly sessions or a combination of all the above. This integration of work and learning means that the work employees carry out in your employment counts towards their qualification.
  • Providing a suitable work-place mentor who has the ability, resource, and influence within the organisation to enable the requirements listed above and also:
    • be a first point of contact within the workplace for both university and apprentice o provide apprentices with any other required opportunities to gain the type of experience in the workplace that will support their learning and skills acquisition
    • liaise with the university on the development, implementation, and review of the apprentice’s personal learning plan
    • take responsibility for overcoming any workplace challenges relating to the programme

To find out more and booked a place, contact