Success for students embarking on new software graduate apprenticeship

Even though they had never studied software engineering in the past, Leonardo’s first cohort of software graduate apprentices have excelled in their degrees for Software Development for Business BSc (Hons) at Heriot-Watt University.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 8:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 8:25 am
Graduate apprentices Michael Coleman, Bradley Yates, Gavin Davis and Jamie Jack.

Former Inverurie Academy pupil Bradley Yates along with Michael Coleman, Gavin Davis and Jamie Jack were the first to embark on a new software graduate apprenticeship offered by aerospace engineering company Leonardo based in Edinburgh.

Bradley, who received a first for his degree, said: “This was my first time working away from home as I grew up in Aberdeenshire. It feels great that the three of us have come out of it with a first. We were a bit anxious going into it as guinea pigs but it has worked out really well.

“What makes the graduate apprenticeship different to a traditional degree is that students split their time between lectures and tutorials and their day job.

"Students are given intensive learning support for the first two years of the degree, followed by two further years of studying where they are given much more freedom to design and lead their own learning.

"This freedom meant the software graduate apprentices could shape their learning in a proactive way so that their hands on experience in industry supported their studies.”

Deborah Soley, Head of Apprenticeship Management UK said: “This was a first for us – so we could not be prouder of the way Michael, Bradley, Gavin and Jamie immersed themselves in their studies. To receive a first in a degree, you have to demonstrate exceptional command of your subject, showing you have not only mastered its concepts, but you can put them into practice with excellence.

“They have managed to do just that, against the odds presented by the pandemic and the fact that none of them were familiar with software to begin with makes their achievement even more striking.”

Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal (Business and Enterprise) at Heriot-Watt University added: “The academic achievements of Bradley, Gavin, Michael and Jamie are a testimony to how the Graduate Apprenticeship model can make industry-university collaboration a success. We wish them well on the next stage of their career journey.”