Information for employers

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?

Foundation Apprenticeships are open to school pupils starting S5 who want to get a head start in their career. A Foundation Apprenticeship takes two years to complete. In year one the pupil will spend two afternoons per week at a college while in year 2 they will be out one day per week with the employer getting practical and relevant work experience. All the while pupils are studying towards an industry-recognised qualification alongside their other school subjects.

What level is a Foundation Apprenticeship set at?

A Foundation Apprenticeship is SCQF Level 6 (the same level of learning as a SQA Higher).

How is a Foundation Apprenticeship delivered?

In the first year the Foundation Apprenticeship is delivered over two afternoons per week in college (Tuesday and Thursday). In the second year, students will also gain hands on work experience with an employer going out on placement for one day per week. Students will work towards industry recognised qualifications including Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), National Certificates (NC) and National Progression Awards (NPAs).

Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships what is the difference?

A Foundation Apprenticeship is industry recognised and enables young people to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship before they leave school. Therefore, if your business is already involved in Modern Apprenticeships it allows you to identify high performing young people who can go on to complete and fast track a Modern Apprenticeship saving you as an employer both time and money.

What does the work placement element involve?

In partnership with the college, the employer would receive an outline of what the student was expected to cover during the course of the work placement. This would be verified by an assessor provided by the college who would come out and visit the student and the employer during the course of the placement. The work placement would last a school academic year ranging from September to June. The employer would be fully supported during the course of the placement should any issues arise.

Why Should I get Involved?

• A great opportunity for you as an employer to spot talented, motivated pupils who could become your future employees.
• Foundation Apprenticeships work on real projects with your staff. They bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to those tasks.
• Young people get to know your business. Therefore if you chose to recruit, they can come in with a useful working knowledge of it.
• It helps your business build stronger links with local schools and colleges, and also gives you as an employer the opportunity to deliver on the recommendations for employers from Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.
• Young people offer new exciting ways of thinking and offer fresh opportunities for your current staff such as mentoring.
• Foundation Apprenticeships are designed with employers like you. So they help young people build the skills your business actually needs for the future

"I would highly recommend employers becoming involved with the Foundation Apprenticeship Programme. Like the majority of employers, Amey are asked to get involved with a number of work placement initiatives but the difference with the Foundation Apprenticeship Programme is, the outcomes achieved by the students such as the increase in employability; providing the students with a national certificate and 9 months’ experience before they have even left school. The employer is also a beneficiary by exposure to the potential of these young people and gaining the work experience of working alongside colleges."

Gerry McCarron - Account Manager, Amey

"The Foundation Apprenticeship Programme is a key part of Network Rail commitment to Engineering Engagement. It provides us with a unique opportunity to share our experience with young engineers of the future, and give them an insight into the breadth of skills we employ in the rail industry".

Paul Murphy - Engineering Engagement Officer, Network Rail

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