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Young people in schools across Scotland in their senior phase of school are right now making important decisions about their future.

They are choosing the subjects that will influence how they progress from school and the career path they pursue.

These learners have a curriculum that supports them to find the right path into employment, further or higher education.

More pupils than ever before are choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other senior phase subjects.

These apprentices get to experience work-based learning, further education and gain a better understanding of job roles. As a result, they can make more informed decisions about their right path on leaving school.

Developing workforce for the future

A Foundation Apprentice typically spends around half their time with a learning provider and half experiencing a real workplace to get a qualification at SCQF Level 6 – the same as a Higher. And all 12 different types have been mapped to existing successful Modern Apprenticeship jobs.

Pupils may choose to go on to a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship job, or further or higher education – all contributing to developing the very best young workforce for the future.

Through hands-on, experiential learning pupils are building their career management skills.

Young people are our future leaders, and it is right that Foundation Apprenticeships are embedded within the school curriculum.

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP

Skills employers want

They are also building the human skills – or meta skills – such as communication and teamwork that will last a lifetime.

Pupils taking Foundation Apprenticeships have reported a range of improved skills that employers look for, with 94 percent seeing improved communication skills and confidence; 93 percent improved teamworking skills and 90 percent improved problem solving and organisational skills.

For many pupils, their apprenticeship can be the first engagement with the world of work, and we must continue to ensure these first steps to build careers are available to as many of our young people as possible in the senior phase of school.


Deputy First Minister awards former Foundation Apprentice, Fraser Wallace, the title of 2018 Scotland's Apprentice of the Year. Fraser is now a Modern Apprentice with GE Caledonian.

Embedding into curriculum

Young people are our future leaders, and it is right that Foundation Apprenticeships are embedded within the school curriculum.

Embedding work-based learning in the education and skills system is vital if we are to ensure Scotland builds a strong and resilient future workforce, providing young individuals with the experience and skills employers want.

A Foundation Apprenticeship can transform a young person’s approach to learning, providing a clear perspective of work and helping them make a confident decision about their next steps towards a successful career.

By widening access to work-based learning, Foundation Apprenticeships are already providing pathways and opportunities for young people to across Scotland to fulfil their potential.

More information

To find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships visit

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