Foundation Apprenticeships

Learn the skills you need for the future, while you're still at school

Get out of the classroom and get a real taste of the world of work.

You sit a Foundation Apprenticeship over two years, usually starting in fifth year with your Highers and National 5s.

The difference is, you spend time away from school, at college and with an employer. So you get real, practical work experience.

  • Get a qualification that employers recognise and the skills you need to start a career in that industry

  • Open up your options after school

  • You get to work on real projects with an employer. Some of Scotland's biggest, best known organisations are involved, including Barclays, Network Rail, and the NHS

  • It's a chance to try a career out – so you can decide if it's right for you

Types of Foundation Apprenticeship

MyWoW

Not sure which apprenticeship is for you?

My World of Work can help you explore your options. Try one of the tools below, and start to find out more about what careers might suit you.

What's a Foundation Apprenticeship really like?

Find out from some of the pupils who've already done it.

Foundation apprentice Marta stands at a bridge in Glasgow at nighttime

Marta, finance FA, Barclays

'The Foundation Apprenticeship helped me broaden my horizons and improved my knowledge of working in a big financial services organisation.'

Female Modern Apprentice Sarah sits with a book in a nursery surrounded by mothers

Foundation Apprenticeships tell employers what an FA is all about

At a business breakfast event, FAs shared their experience of their apprenticeships with employers. Find out what they had to say.

Jenna and Heather, health and social care FAs, Craigie House

Jenna and Heather's apprenticeship meant getting hands-on experience at Craigie House care home.

Monisha, finance FA, Barclays

'I definitely think this will help me in the future, especially when I go to get a job. It shows from a young age I've had this experience and learned all these different things.'

Callum, engineering FA, Score Europe

Completing a Foundation Apprenticeship led Callum to apply for a Modern Apprenticeship.

Abbi, engineering FA, Fife College

‘Since I started doing the Foundation Apprenticeship, my confidence has grown a lot.’

A group of young people gathered around a table working on a laptop

Connor, finance FA, Barclays

'The Foundation Apprenticeship gives you an advantage when applying for jobs and attending interviews. Being able to say you’ve had experience working for a large company like Barclays makes you stand out as a candidate.'

Load more

Foundation Apprenticeships are currently accepted as entry requirements for courses at:

  • University of Aberdeen – Exemptions may apply for medicine, law and dentistry
  • Abertay University – Across all faculties as equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • University of Dundee – Exemptions may apply for medicine, law and dentistry
  • University of Edinburgh – Alongside Highers and Advanced Highers as entry requirements to certain degree programmes
  • Edinburgh Napier University - Across all courses as equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • University of Glasgow – All faculties except Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Law
  • Glasgow Caledonian University – Across all faculties as equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • Glasgow School of Art - As equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • Heriot-Watt University – Across all subjects as equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • University of the Highlands and Islands – Across all faculties as equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • Open University – Across all programmes
  • Queen Margaret University – Across all faculties as equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • Robert Gordon University – Across all faculties as equivalent to one SQA Higher
  • Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)Across all faculties, except where a specific subject is required
  • University of Stirling – As equivalent to one SQA Higher at B
  • University of StrathclydeAcross all faculties as equivalent to one SQA Higher at B, with the exception of law courses
  • University of West of Scotland – Across all faculties as equivalent to one SQA Higher

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Skills Development Scotland is delivering Foundation Apprenticeships with support from the European Social Fund

European Union and Scottish flags. European Social Fund. Investing in a smart, sustainable and inclusive future.