Engineering

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Engineers bring ideas to life. They design, create, test and improve all sorts of products and processes. From James Watt’s steam engine to Andy Scott’s Kelpies, Scotland is great at engineering.

It’s an industry offering careers in range of sectors including space, aviation, transport, medicine, technology and fashion. You could become an aerospace engineer, chemical engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer or naval architect. You won’t always be sitting at a desk and could be working in a laboratory, at sea, underground or a recording studio.

And, there’s a huge demand for new engineers. Companies are projected to need 182,000 people with engineering skills each year to 2022 in the UK. There’s never been a better time to start your engineering career.

What's the qualification?

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

This includes:

  • A National Certificate (NC) in an Engineering Discipline at SCQF level 6, for example: Engineering Systems, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering.
  • Core units of an SVQ in Performing Engineering Operations at SCQF level 5
  • Work placement experience/industry challenge

SQA qualifications explained

What will I learn?

The topics you learn as part of your National Certificate will depend on the area of engineering you choose to study. These include:

  • Engineering Systems
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Fabrication and Welding Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Measurement and Control Engineering

To achieve your SVQ units, you’ll be assessed as part of your work placement. You’ll learn how to:

  • Comply with statutory regulations and organisational safety requirements
  • Use and interpret engineering data and documentation
  • Work efficiently and effectively in engineering

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 already achieved core units of the Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering at SCQF level 6/7. You’ll have the right skills and experience to choose to progress to a related engineering Modern Apprenticeship.

  • A Graduate Apprenticeship: You’ll have the right skills and experience to choose to progress to a Graduate Apprenticeship in an engineering subject.

  • Further Education: Continue your studies at college, with an HNC or HND in an engineering subject. 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 the engineering industry.

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