Foundation Apprenticeships – what are they? who are they for?

In S5 or S6 and had enough of school learning? Want to get work experience and add skills to your CV, college or university application?
Foundation Apprenticeships could be for you!

Here is the lowdown

Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are a great way to get a head start in the world of work and combine all the benefits of a traditional apprenticeship helping you to:

  • Achieve additional qualification to boost your CV, College or University application
  • Enhance your employability through industry work experience
  • Get a head start in employment with progression to a Modern Apprenticeship or further study at college or university

FA’s include the following elements:

  • A National Progression Award (NPA) or National Certificate (NC) at level 6
  • Either a whole or partial SVQ at level 6
  • An extended work placement

All of which can be added to your CV or college/university application!

Foundation Apprenticeships

How do they work?

Foundation Apprenticeships count as 1 of the options within S5-S6 subject choices and you will study your FA while you are still at school in combination with your other National 5 and Higher subjects.
You will attend college, typically on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, during the duration of your course, so it fits in with the rest of your school timetable (exact days/times will be confirmed when you apply). Students will attend a two week work placement with a high profile employer in June (in S5 & S6) and one week in October and another week in February (in S6).
Pupils will also get work visits, visiting lecturers and employer challenge projects throughout the course giving your knowledge and insight into your chosen industry.

What are my career options?

After completing a Foundation Apprenticeship you have so many options! You can:

  • Progress onto a Modern Apprenticeship (combining paid employment and college learning to get an additional qualification)
  • Move into employment (potentially at your work experience employer)
  • Start a college course to gain an additional qualification for your career
  • Apply to university. Many top Scottish universities accept Foundation Apprenticeships for entry to degree programmes*.

*FAs are recognised by the following Universities for entry to degree programmes on the same basis as highers (some exceptions apply): Aberdeen, Abertay, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot Watt, QMU, Robert Gordon, Strathclyde, UHI.

What Foundation Apprenticeships are available?

Edinburgh College has 8 foundation apprenticeships available for application starting in August 2017.

CourseSCQF LevelDurationCampus
Business Skills62 yearsSighthill
Civil Engineering62 yearsConstruction and Technology Centre - Musselburgh
Engineering62 yearsMidlothian
Financial Services61 yearSighthill
IT Software Development62 yearsGranton
Social Services and Healthcare62 yearsSighthill

How do I apply?

Entry is open to any pupil in S5 & S6 with the ability to succeed at level 6 in a vocational setting. The only exception to this is engineering, where pupils should also be taking higher maths.
Contact your guidance teacher who will support you with your application form.

Click to enlarge

Want more information?

Visit our Foundation Apprenticeships page or email for more information.
For more details on Foundation Apprenticeships, you can also visit the Skills Development Scotland website