About us

We’re Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Scotland’s national skills body. It’s our job to help create a skilled workforce that’s ready to face the future. 

Our apprenticeships family plays a key role in setting people up for success in their careers. Apprenticeships are designed to tackle potential skills gaps, and support new or existing employees to develop. We work closely with Scotland’s industries to make sure apprenticeships meet their needs. 

SDS administers the funding for apprenticeships training, on behalf of the Scottish Government. 

Apprenticeships offer high quality work-based learning

That means employees learn on the job, working on real projects with experienced colleagues. They can reflect on their work and develop their skills through experience. 

So, individuals get the confidence and qualifications they need to succeed. And businesses build the talent, productivity and motivation they need to grow.

Building on success

There are already more than 37,000 young people working, learning and earning as Modern Apprentices.

And it’s a real success story. 91% of apprentices still in employment six months after completing their Modern Apprenticeship; and 96% of employers say former apprentices are better equipped to do their job. 

To build on the progress of the MA programme, we’ve developed two new strands of the apprenticeship family:

  • Foundation Apprenticeships: Bringing education closer to industry. Foundation Apprenticeships give school pupils a taste of the world of work and help employers shape future talent
  • Graduate Apprenticeships: Taking work-based learning higher, Graduate Apprentices can study up to Masters degree level

Find out how you can get involved as an individual, employer or learning provider.

Developing apprenticeships

The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB) gives employers and industry a leading role in developing apprenticeships in Scotland. Find out about the role of the board, and how it will work.

About SAAB

Apprenticeship levy

From April 2017, employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million will pay an apprenticeship levy. It's aimed at funding new apprenticeships across the UK.

About the levy