There are three types of Apprenticeships:
Foundation Apprenticeships (Studied at school)
Foundation Apprenticeships are a work-based learning opportunity for senior-phase secondary school pupils. Lasting two years, pupils typically begin their Foundation Apprenticeship in S5. Young people spend time out of school at college or with a local employer, and complete the Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other subjects like National 5s and Highers. N.B. Foundation Apprenticeships are chosen at the time of subject choice and replace a subject/column choice.
Foundation Apprenticeships help young people gain valuable, real-world work experience and access work-based learning while they’re still at school. By giving young people earlier exposure to the world of work they can develop the skills, experience and knowledge they’ll need when they leave school. For young people it’s the chance to get a head start on their careers by gaining an industry-recognised qualification, work on real projects and broaden their career options when they leave school.
Foundation Apprenticeships are currently available in a number of subjects including civil engineering, software development and financial services.
N.B. As Foundation Apprenticeships take two years to complete they cannot be started in S6.
Modern Apprenticeships (Available to school leavers)
An industry recognised qualification is gained while earning a wage. This means that apprentices can build valuable work experience from day one and they’ll develop skills and expertise for their current and future jobs. Modern Apprenticeships are available at four different levels and there are over 80 Modern Apprenticeship frameworks – from healthcare and financial services to construction and IT.
Graduate Apprenticeships (Available to school leavers)
Graduate Apprenticeships are similar to Modern Apprenticeships as they involve a combination of part-time work and part-time study but they allow apprentices to gain degrees.
Employees can equip themselves with higher levels of academic learning and industry accreditation, which helps them progress as professionals and as they are in continuing employment apprentices can directly apply their academic learning to real-life situations, all the while earning a good salary.
Individuals who participate in the scheme are able to access the same learning opportunities as those who go down the traditional route of direct entry into college or university. It takes the same length of time to gain a degree, or in some cases can take less time as you may be able to attend university out with normal term time, and as with traditional degrees accelerated entry may also be possible.
N.B. A number of companies advertise apprenticeship vacancies only on their own website. The Careers notice board in school also highlights some apprenticeship opportunities.