RGU launches new workplace-based digital skills courses after £1m boost

Robert Gordon University

Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen has been given a £1million funding boost to help it tackle a Scotland-wide digital skills shortage.

The university’s school of computing science and digital media will use the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) cash to launch two workplace-based, degree level programmes aimed at supporting employers’ digital technology needs.

RGU is offering 30 fully-funded places for the pioneering courses, which start in May, and is currently seeking employers interested in taking advantage of the new training opportunity.

The two apprenticeships in software development for business and information technology management for business will allow participants to earn their qualifications while working.

They were developed by SDS in partnership with employers, universities and colleges and professional bodies in an attempt to create stronger links between industry and education and increase graduate employability skills.

RGU will make sure studies are in tune with specific skills requirements and practical experience, while the courses will also make good use of the university’s virtual learning facilities.

Professor Chrisina Jayne, head of the school of computing science and digital media, said: “The ICT (information and communications technology) and digital technologies sector is playing an increasingly important part of the Scottish economy.

“But, with 70% of companies requiring employees with digital skills, there is an immediate demand to support business growth

“Our graduate level apprenticeship programmes are designed to address the national digital skills shortage by providing employers with opportunities to shape their workforce in line with their business demands and reduce recruitment costs in a difficult skills area, while attracting new talent to the sector.”

SDS service design and innovation director Jonathan Clark said: “Graduate level apprenticeships have the potential to transform the way that young people access further and higher education.

“Apprentices will be employed during their studies and, because much of the learning takes place in the workplace, they will have the opportunity to immediately apply what they learn at college or university in their jobs – and vice versa.

“This provides opportunities for employers to help shape the skills of their employees and to address skills shortages affecting their industry and the local economy.”