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Highland students record engineering first

By Andrew Dixon

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Students studying civil engineering at the University of the Highlands and Islands have become the first in Scotland to complete a Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) at honours degree level.

All five apprentices worked in the civil engineering industry, earning a wage and attending block release at Inverness College UHI. They complete their apprenticeship with an honours degree, vocational qualifications and six years of industry experience.

Five years ago, the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) became the first university in the the country to develop and pilot a GA in civil engineering in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board.

Now the college offers a Foundation Apprenticeship, Modern Apprenticeship, Higher Apprenticeship and Graduate Apprenticeship in civil engineering.

Having progressed through the Modern Apprenticeship and Higher Apprenticeship, five students graduated from the GA in Civil Engineering at BEng (Honours) level (SCQF level 10) this summer.

Despite Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the graduates apprentices were able to continue both working and learning to achieve their qualification.

The successful students include Luke Fraser (24), from Inverness, Andrew Bruce (29), from Aberdeenshire, and Luke McAllister (25), from Inverness,

Programme leader Carrie Higgins said: “We are full of pride and admiration for what these students have achieved. Not only have they worked incredibly hard to complete the GA whilst progressing in their jobs, they’ve also played a crucial role in helping us shape the way we deliver the Higher Apprenticeship and the Graduate Apprenticeship for those now following in their footsteps.

“Their commitment has been inspiring and we look forward to working with them again, as employer mentors for future apprentices.”

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