Unlike at school, college or on a traditional degree course, an apprenticeship means most of your learning will be through on-the-job training in your place of work. An apprenticeship might be a good option if you like the idea of hands-on learning as well as some classroom-based study.
What apprenticeships are available in Scotland?
There are over 80 apprenticeships available in Scotland. These are sometimes referred to as frameworks. You can use an apprenticeship to enter a wide range of careers in anything from engineering or software development to accountancy or marketing.
There are three types of apprenticeship available:
If you’re taking a foundation apprenticeship, you’re not employed. You take it alongside your Highers and National 5s. With modern and graduate apprenticeships, you are employed. To be considered for a modern or graduate level apprenticeship programme in Scotland, you need to be:
- Aged 16 or over
- Living in Scotland
- Not in full-time education
There are three types of apprenticeship — entry depends on your skills and qualifications. If you start with a foundation or modern apprenticeship, you can progress your career and work your way up through the higher level apprenticeships, and even achieve a degree with an apprenticeship in some career areas. You can also progress on to further or higher education courses, including degrees and postgraduate courses.
The table below details the entry requirements for each of the apprenticeship levels in Scotland.
|SCQF level||Entry requirements|
|Foundation apprenticeship — the same level and credit value as two Scottish Highers SVQ 2 — 3/SCQF 5/6.||
Entry requirements are different in each sector, but generally you should be working towards National 5 qualifications and have the capacity to work at SCQF Level 6.
Foundation apprenticeships are designed for S5 – S6 pupils to combine school/college learning and work experience, so you may need to be taking relevant subjects depending on the industry you apply for.
Modern apprenticeships —available at:
You generally need three or more National 4s to apply for a modern apprenticeship (or standard grades at general level) depending on the apprenticeship you’re doing.
Depending on the role and the qualifications you already have, you might be able to start at a higher level.
Graduate level apprenticeships (GLA) - available at:
Entry requirements vary depending on the specific role. Most look for similar qualifications to those required for a degree course, sometimes in relevant subjects.
GLA entry requirements recognise skills and experience, as well as qualifications. If you don’t have the formal qualifications needed, you may still be able to do the apprenticeship. Any previous industry experience will be taken into consideration, as well as other apprenticeships or work-based learning qualifications.
Get in touch with the university or college to discuss your situation.
Check apprenticeship vacancies to see if there are any specific subjects and grades you need to have.
Liking the sound of an apprenticeship but not sure where to begin looking? Get to know leading brands and the range of apprenticeships they offer. Everything from finance to engineering, and data analysis to project management.
- Modern Apprenticeships from Skills Development Scotland
- See the range of apprenticeships available in Scotland
- Browse Apprenticeships.Scot vacancies and then find details of the apprenticeship frameworks you’re considering.
Sign up to Career Finder
If you think an apprenticeship could be right for you, head over to Career Finder and create an account.
You'll be able to:
- search for all apprenticeship roles
- filter by subject area, role type, location, and level of apprenticeship
- shortlist jobs
- sign up for alerts
- keep tabs on applications you've made