Foundation Apprenticeship Learning Providers can view COVID-19 interim measures below, offering advice, support and relevant contact information.

Scotland’s learning system has faced major challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) have worked with sector skills councils, learning providers and education partners to support completers, returners and new entrants to Foundation Apprenticeships.

As part of ongoing work to support continued delivery of Foundation Apprenticeships, a series of engagements with providers has been held over the last few months to gain feedback and shape shared solutions.

Enhancements have been made to nine of the twelve frameworks for academic year 20/21 with customised units introduced, which provide a broader definition of a workplace in them. This allows for a more flexible approach to the delivery and assessment of work placements and gives greater opportunity for employer engagement.

In addition, five of the 12 frameworks now include a Work-based Challenge Unit, designed to support the development of meta-skills for learners using project based learning. The intention is to introduce this across all frameworks for academic year 21/22.

A solution for the care frameworks has also been agreed with SQA and the Scottish Social Services Council.  This means that two new temporary frameworks have been developed retaining the same or similar learning outcomes from the original frameworks, however removing the requirement for direct work placement. 

As an alternative to attending the workplace, learners will engage in practice-based activity, involving employers, that is aligned to the same knowledge and understanding outcomes of the original frameworks.  It is expected that learners will engage with employers to support their learning throughout and this can take place in various ways.

This work meets the planned strategy for apprenticeship standards and frameworks endorsed by the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board and is part of the evolution of Foundation Apprenticeships to incorporate project-based learning and meta-skills.

In addition, the work also aligns to the progression routes for Foundation Apprenticeship completers into Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships or further and higher education already in place.

SQA has published technical guidance to support providers with delivery and SDS will also produce additional guidance for delivery partners in areas such as placements.

Through on-going consultation and engagement with learning providers and partners, work on enhancements to Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 6 to support long-term delivery and assessment will continue.

Work-based learning pathways and apprenticeships remain crucial for young people and will help equip them with the skills needed to support Scotland’s economic recovery.