Foundation Apprenticeships

Kick start your career.

Develop skills for work and gain a qualification.

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?

It’s a qualification that takes you out of the classroom and gets your foot in the door with an employer. You can choose a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 or S6 and it's the same level as higher. 

Over 1 or 2 years, you'll spend a lot of time learning with an employer. It's an essential part of the course and you'll gain new skills for your CV. It’s also valued by employers and recognised by all Scottish colleges and universities.   

Want to go straight to work?

Find out how your Foundation Apprenticeship can help you fast-track into a Modern Apprenticeship.

Planning on going to college?

Find out how Foundation Apprenticeship can help you get into the college course you want.

Applying to university?

Look at how a Foundation Apprenticeship can help strengthen your university application.

What are the benefits?

  1. It’s at the same level as a Higher (SCQF6) but you'll also get experience in a workplace.

  2. It gives you great insight into your chosen industry. You can sometimes use it to fast track into a Modern Apprenticeship or take on a Graduate Apprenticeship. You might also choose to go straight to work.

  3. It's a nationally recognised qualification that can support your entry to all colleges and universities across Scotland. It will also help make your personal statement really stand out.


How does it work?

  1. You'll spend time with a learning provider, such as a college, developing the essential skills you'll need on your placement.

  2. The apprenticeship lets you spend time out of the classroom completing an extended work placement with an employer.

  3. You're assessed on a unit by unit basis and will achieve the qualification by passing each unit. The placement also counts towards your qualification and your employer will work with you to develop a plan for the assessments.


"When I came to Dell I was treated like a real member of staff, which gave me more confidence."

Lucy, Business Skills Foundation Apprentice at Dell

Available subjects

Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed for 12 of Scotland's growth industries.



Help businesses keep track of their money and grow their profits. If you’re a good problem-solver, this FA could be your solution.

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Business Skills

Want to know what makes a company successful? Learn about managing people, projects, and strategy.

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Civil Engineering

Our buildings, canals, roads, bridges and motorways depend on civil engineers. You could help create the future built environment of Scotland.

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Creative and Digital Media

Calling storytellers, techies, designers and creative thinkers. This is an FA that lets you bring your ideas to life.

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Engineers work out new and better ways to do things - and create them. If you're a natural problem solver, it could be for you.

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Financial Services

Get a foot in the door of business, accountancy and banking. You could manage the money that keeps everything else ticking along.

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Food and Drink Technologies

Be at the forefront of what we need to survive. Help develop products we’ll eat and drink in the future while keeping us and our planet safe.

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Hardware and System Support

Every business in the country depends on technology. You could be the one to fix problems, keep it running, and make it work better.

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Scientific Technologies

Some of our biggest advancements start out in a lab. Science has the power to change the world - and you could be part of it.

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Social Services Children and Young People

Every child deserves the best start in life, and to grow up happy, healthy and confident. You can help make sure this happens.

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Social Services and Healthcare

Want to try something challenging, but rewarding? Learn about helping people when they need it most.

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Software Development

Gaming, virtual reality, cyber security - the digital world is changing fast. You could help decide where it goes next.

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Find a Foundation Apprenticeship at your school

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

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