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The latest Foundation Apprenticeships campaign from SDS asks the universal question "what did you do at school today?" 

The campaign highlights what the answer could be if a pupil chooses work-based learning with a Foundation Apprenticeship. 

With one son who chose a Foundation Apprenticeship in financial services alongside his fifth-year subjects, and another that recently completed his Modern Apprenticeship in Digital Applications, I know first-hand how work-based learning can inspire young people. 

Vital role of apprenticeships

In Scotland, the building blocks of Curriculum for Excellence and Developing the Young Workforce mean the country is well-placed to benefit from work-based learning. 

Scottish apprenticeships are providing career pathways and meeting critical skills gaps for employers and the economy. 

Foundation Apprenticeships are widening access to work-based learning in the senior phase of school and providing opportunities for young people across Scotland to fulfil their potential.

SDS Director of Critical Skills and Occupations, Diane Greenlees

Growth of uptake

More and more employers recognise the vital role apprenticeships can play in developing the workforce of the future. 

Foundation Apprenticeships particularly are giving young people the chance to get a head-start on a career by gaining industry-recognised qualifications, working on real projects and gaining the experience employers want. 

Foundation Apprenticeships are  widening access to work-based learning in the senior phase of school and providing opportunities for young people across Scotland to fulfil their potential. 

Over the last year we have more than doubled the number of young people taking a Foundation Apprenticeship and we will provide even more opportunities again this year. 

Workforce of the future

Foundation Apprenticeships offer a fabulous opportunity to link schools with the world of work which is a connection that will serve both well. 

Not only that, but they help to develop a strong workforce and contribute to business and economic growth. 

Employers benefit by tapping into the pipeline of talent that is helping to create the Modern and Graduate Apprentices of the future. 

Foundation Apprenticeships continue to be embedded in the education and skills system, creating increasingly valuable and essential work-based learning pathways for pupils. 

Scottish Government support

The change can only work where there is systemic commitment to delivery across the education and skills system in partnership with local, regional and national employers.  

The Scottish Government’s policy and strategy commitments set out clear support for Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.  

And SDS continues to work towards ambitious plans to build a world-class, work-based learning system through Scottish Apprenticeships in line with those Scottish Government aspirations.    

As advocates of the benefits of work-based learning, we are absolutely committed to working with national and local partners to ensure that young people across Scotland can access and benefit from the fantastic range of Foundation Apprenticeships available today.   


More information

Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships at

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