The Club values the development of staff and players; with regular Performance Development Discussions and an ‘Investors in Young People’ accreditation alongside a dedicated member of staff to support and guide football operations; players of all ages and stages, through their education options and pathways.
One institution that has proven popular is Robert Gordon University (RGU); the Club’s Official Education Partner. A number of Club staff and players have attended RGU in different capacities, across a variety of study and course options, most recently a handful of these have been through the Graduate Apprenticeships scheme.
Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) provide fully-funded structured training to degree level for employees – a great way to mould new recruits from the outset and/or upskill your staff to make your business more productive.
RGU was one of the first universities in Scotland to deliver GAs and continues to be at the forefront of work-based learning across a range of disciplines.
The university has already delivered successful GAs in partnership with more than 150 businesses in a range of sectors, covering the length and breadth of Scotland.
Graduate Apprenticeships enable participants to earn their degree while working and are delivered in partnership with their employers over the course of four years.
David Bowman has been IT Manager at AFC since 2003 and was a mentor to the Club’s Senior IT Support Analyst, Lee Forsyth, during his IT Management for Business course.
On the GA programme David said:
“I think there are definitely benefits for the employer. ..staff gain graduate-level qualifications … applying their developed knowledge and skills directly into the workplace.”
“To be able to study towards a degree while on the job is invaluable, and the staff at the club and RGU have been incredibly supportive.
“Although I’ve managed to progress in my career without a degree so far, it’s always been on my agenda to attain a degree level qualification as I believe it is a great way to demonstrate to current and future employers my ability and to give yourself credibility.”
At the beginning of this year, RGU announced 175 Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) opportunities, which will be funded by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
These GA places will start in September 2020, across a range of disciplines including accountancy, construction, engineering, data science, IT management for business and business management.
Professor John Harper, Principal of RGU, commented: “Graduate Apprenticeships represent a major step-change in learning, and were introduced to address future skills shortages in key areas.
“As we move into the fourth year of offering GA opportunities, it is clear these provide a solution to many business needs, equipping workforces across Scotland with the expertise and skills to navigate changing working landscapes.
“This latest award cements our position as a leading provider of GAs and we look forward to working with many more businesses as we drive this innovative work-based learning model forward.”