University partners with data company for graduate apprenticeship programme

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The University of Stirling will be partnering with an e-commerce platform headquartered in Stirling for the second year of its graduate apprenticeship programme.

Two students will work with the data company Optiseller whilst studying for a BSc Graduate Apprenticeship in Data Science.

They join a new cohort of 20 graduate apprentices across Scotland.

Programme Director Dr Mario Kolberg said: “We are delighted to partner with Optiseller on our graduate apprenticeships in the data science programme, and we welcome the students who have joined us.

Dr Mario Kolberg

Programme director Dr Mario Kolberg is a Senior Lecturer in Computing Science

“University of Stirling graduates will play a key role in supporting the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and this programme provides a route into education for many, while offering employers such as Optiseller opportunities to upskill and develop existing or attract new talent, ready to make a positive impact in their company and the Scottish economy.” 

Graduate Apprenticeships were introduced by the Scottish Government to enhance workforce skills through graduate-level qualifications. The programme was developed by Skills Development Scotland, in partnership with industry and the education sector, to provide work-based learning opportunities and a new route into degree-level study for individuals who are currently employed or seek to go straight into work.  Students on the scheme typically spend 80% of their four-year course in the workplace and 20% engaged in study. 

Louise Findlay, Head of HR at Optiseller, said: “Learning and development is one of our key focuses, and the graduate apprenticeships in data science give us the opportunity to provide invaluable work experience whilst supporting our people to achieve additional qualifications.

“We are excited to have Duncan Hayward and Graeme Lavery on the team. They will be given the opportunity to learn how to collect, manage and analyse fast-moving data working alongside our experts, and we hope they grow and develop within the company for years to come."  

Graeme Lavery, student and data engineer at Optiseller, said: “The apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to learn and qualify while working, applying what you are learning and ultimately helping the business.” 

And Duncan Hayward, student and junior data scientist at Optiseller, said: “I'm delighted to get the chance to explore the rapidly growing and evolving data science field in both professional and academic environments with my colleagues, mentors and lecturers.” 

Organisations involved in the first intake of students last year included the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Student Loans Company, Aqualife, Abellio, and a number of local authorities. 

For a discussion about how graduate apprenticeships could benefit your organisation, please email Fiona McMillan via