College’s first group of IT Modern Apprentices celebrate graduation

Dundee and Angus College’s first ever cohort of IT Modern Apprentices celebrated their graduation from Dundee University Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) programme at the end of last year.

 Andrew Swarbrick, Cain Kiani, Dylan Wright and Rory Lawson began their apprenticeship journey at Dundee and Angus College six years ago when they embarked on a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in IT.

A Modern Apprenticeship is a vocational programme that combines theoretical and practical-based learning. Candidates spend time at college studying towards an industry recognised qualification whilst simultaneously gaining valuable industry experience through paid employment in the relevant field.

Added to the College’s apprenticeship portfolio in 2015, the IT Modern Apprenticeship covers a wide range of digital-related topics such as software development, cyber security, digital design, data analytics and hardware support.

After successfully completing two years at Dundee and Angus College, the apprentices progressed to Dundee University where they spent four years working towards a Graduate Apprenticeship in Information Technology Management for Business BSc (Hons).

The work-based element of both the Modern and Graduate apprenticeships was undertaken at Dundee City Council where they have been continually employed, in various teams and roles within the IT Service. Many of them are continuing to progress their careers at the organisation including further Higher Education thorough a GA MSc in Cyber Security. Undertaking these qualifications alongside real work has allowed some to be promoted within the organisation.

Jaqui Spence, Vocational Training Co-ordinator at Dundee City Council, said: "As an employer, we have a long history with Dundee and Angus College in working with and supporting our IT Professionals undertaking Modern Apprenticeships. The high-quality programme allows them to progress to the Graduate Apprenticeship and other Higher education and obviously, develop and advance their own careers."

Laura Louch, Sector Development Lead for Creative, Cultural and Digital at Dundee and Angus College, said: “These students were one of our first cohorts of the IT MA and it is excellent to see how far they have progressed since they started with us. The qualification was a great way for them to kickstart their careers in this field and as their assessor, I saw first-hand how their skills, knowledge and confidence developed during the qualification. It was also lovely to see the bond they had as a group and how they could learn from each other both in the classroom and the workplace.”