Share this page


Pupils across Scotland are benefiting from Foundation Apprenticeships and work-based learning.

Foundation Apprenticeships are open to pupils in S5 and S6, usually take two years to complete and result in a qualification similar to a Higher.

The Foundation Apprenticeship combines time out of school with a learning provider and work-based learning with a relevant employer.

There are now 12 subjects with every local authority in Scotland offering Foundation Apprenticeships.

Pupils taking Foundation Apprenticeships have reported a range of improved core skills:

  • 94 per cent reported improved communication
  • 90 per cent reported improved confidence
  • 87 per cent reported improved teamworking and organisational skills
  • 76 per cent reported improved problem solving

Providing pathways

Last year, as part of the drive to improve attainment, Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced that by the end of 2019, up to 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeship places will be available across Scotland.

Graeme Hendry, SDS national manager for Foundation Apprenticeships, said: “Foundation Apprenticeships are closing the gap between the classroom and the workplace, with pupils seeing the benefits.

“Already many Foundation Apprentices are going directly into Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships straight from school or on to Higher or Further education.

“Employers are telling us that pupils who have taken a Foundation Apprenticeship are more attractive candidates for apprenticeship jobs.


“While universities and colleges across Scotland are recognising Foundation Apprenticeship qualifications alongside Highers.

“Foundation Apprenticeships are having a positive impact no matter what route or pathway a young person goes on to pursue.”

Full figures for pupils starting their Foundation Apprenticeship this term will be available later this year.

More information

Find out about Foundation Apprenticeships at

Back to News