Business Skills


As a business administrator or budding manager, you’ll have a highly transferable set of knowledge and skills that can be applied in all sectors. 

A qualification in Business Skills could lead to jobs like: administrative assistant, purchasing manager, management consultant, company secretary, human resources officer, local government officer, receptionist and project manager.

The Foundation Apprenticeship is rooted in the highly respected profession of business administration. And, you’ll get the opportunity to learn about other management and business priorities, such as: digital marketing, procurement, supply chain management and enterprise.

What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills, which is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher (SCQF level 6).

This includes:

  • A National Progression Award (NPA) in Business Skills at SCQF level 6
  • A Contemporary Business Issues unit
  • Core units of an SVQ in Business and Administration at SCQF level 6

SQA qualifications explained

What will I learn?

Your NPA in Business Skills will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding Business
  • Management of People and Finance
  • PC Passport: Working with IT Software – Word Processing and Presenting Information
  • PC Passport: Working with IT Software – Spreadsheet and Database
  • Contemporary Business Issues

You’ll complete the units of your SVQ in Business and Administration mainly in the workplace, as part of your placement. You’ll learn how to:

  • Plan, manage and improve your own performance in a business environment
  • Communicate in a business environment
  • Support other people to work in a business environment
  • Design and produce documents in a business environment

Your Foundation Apprenticeship will also help you to develop core skills valued by employers, particularly:

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Time management

These transferable skills are necessary and highly desirable for working in a range of other related jobs.

SQA qualifications explained

Where could it take me?

Your Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options: it’s up to you where you go next.

  • A Modern Apprenticeship: On completing your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have achieved core units of the Modern Apprenticeship in Business Administration.

  • Further Education: Continue your studies at college, with an SVQ 4 in Business & Administration or another cross-sector area such as Management, business related HNCs and HNDs. Your workplace experience will support your college application.

  • University: Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised as equivalent to SQA Highers by all Scottish universities. You’ll already have quality experience in the industry – this will make your UCAS stand out from the crowd.

  • Straight to a job: Use your qualification and work experience to find a job in business. Your Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills will also give you a good insight into other business-related subjects, such as digital marketing, procurement, supply chain management and enterprise.

SQA qualifications explained

How will it work?

You'll complete your Foundation Apprenticeship at school, alongside your other subjects. You'll spend time learning at a learning provider, such as a college, and with an employer on a practical work placement. It'll give your career a head-start, and look great on your CV.

How to apply

If you're staying on at school, you can apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship.

First, use the search tool at the bottom of the page to find out if this subject is available at your school. Next, fill out the form to let us know you're interested, and we'll get back to you with more information.

Find out if this subject is available at your school