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More pupils across Scotland will be able to benefit from work-based learning as Foundation Apprenticeship places continue to expand with nearly 2,000 on offer this year.

The number of Foundation Apprentices has grown across Scotland with the work-based learning qualification now on offer to school pupils in over 110 schools.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Head of Foundation Apprenticeships, Diane Greenlees said: “Even more young people will now benefit from work-based learning as they work towards an industry recognised qualification with a Foundation Apprenticeship.”

SDS has recently awarded contracts to delivery partners across Scotland for Foundation Apprenticeships from August this year.


Over 1,900 Foundation Apprenticeship places will be available after the summer holidays in all local authority areas and in 10 frameworks, designed by industry in key growth sectors.

Pupils can currently apply for the existing and new frameworks:

  • Business Skills
  • Civil Engineering
  • Creative and Digital Media (new)
  • Engineering
  • Financial Services
  • Hardware and System Support
  • Scientific Technologies (new)
  • Social Services – Children and Young People
  • Social Services and Healthcare
  • Software Development

In August last year more than 350 young people started Foundation Apprenticeships across 26 local authorities in eight different frameworks including financial services and engineering.

Up to 5000 young people will benefit from Foundation Apprenticeships following Deputy First Minister John Swinney’s recent announcement of a boost in numbers.

In addition to the recent expansion, Foundation Apprenticeships are now recognised as valued qualifications within Insight for schools with an agreed tariff value for all frameworks.

A number of universities in Scotland are now accepting a Foundation Apprenticeship as at least equivalent to a Higher within entry requirements to degree courses.

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?

With a Foundation Apprenticeship, pupils can complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship alongside their Highers or Advanced Highers. 

A Foundation Apprenticeship takes two years to complete and during this time pupils spend part of the week out of school, getting hands-on experience at college and with a local employer in their chosen industry.

With a Foundation Apprenticeship under their belt they leave school with an industry-recognised qualification – which is set at SCQF level 6, the same level of learning as a higher – which they can use to gain accelerated entry onto a related Modern Apprenticeship. 

To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities head to  

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