Foundation Apprenticeships

Involvement in Foundation Apprenticeships gives employers the chance to interact with and identify committed, skilled and motivated young people that could be recruited by their company in the future.  Foundation Apprenticeships are courses designed for S5 pupils to combine school learning, college learning and work experience. A Foundation Apprenticeship is studied alongside other school subjects. During the two year course (S5-S6) pupils will spend two afternoons a week at college. The course also enables them to spend time at a work placements with industry employers, exposing them early on to the world of work and employer expectations. 


Why was a Foundation Apprenticeship created?

The development of the Foundation Apprenticeship is to help Scotland’s young people gain valuable work experience and have the opportunity for work-based learning while still attending school. Skills Development Scotland developed Foundation Apprenticeships to reduce youth unemployment by supporting pupils to build the skills they need to be successful when they leave school. 


What are the benefits?

Ribbon button Achieve the foundation apprenticeship while still at school 
Ribbon button Gain a qualification recognised by employers
Ribbon button Visit local employers throughout the course
Ribbon button Substantial work experience
Ribbon button Opportunities to be seen by an employer 
Ribbon button Experience to boost your CV or application for college, university or a job 
Ribbon button Step into an exciting and growing industry that needs skilled people 

What are my progression routes?

A Foundation Apprenticeship is a great start towards a Modern Apprenticeship. A Modern Apprenticeship is learning while at work and earning at the same time. Unlike a Foundation Apprenticeship, a Modern Apprenticeship is not completed while still at school.   

There are also routes into further education in a College or University or a job after completion.

What Foundation Apprenticeships are available?

Ayrshire College currently offers a Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering, Social Services: Children & Young People, and IT: Software development. Each course will run for two years starting in August 2017. 


Click on the Course for more information:




Civil Engineering 

Hardware &

System Support

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For any queries or someone to speak to about Foundation Apprenticeships please email Kirsty Taylor:  





The first pupils in Scotland have completed Foundation Apprenticeships this year at West Lothian College and Fife College.

“I’ve enjoyed the work and the environment. On this course you’re given more space to work on your own and you’re treated more like an adult. I’ve learned a lot..." Emma Scott, Engineering Foundation Apprentice


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Callum, from Cowdenbeath, explains how it was the good thinking of a school teacher that helped him realise he could lay the foundations for a career in his chosen craft by taking a Foundation Apprenticeship.





 (Videos commissioned by Skills Development Scotland)