COVID-19 FAQs for Foundation Apprentice employers

We've pulled together some of the most common questions about the impact of COVID-19 on Foundation Apprenticeships.


I currently offer Foundation Apprenticeship placements. What should I do?

Employers are advised to keep in regular contact with your learning provider e.g. college or training facility for advice on delivery and support.  

SDS have contracted with learning providers to offer up to 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeships in the 2020 academic year. As a business offering Foundation Apprenticeships, your contribution is crucial in supporting pathways into critical occupations for the Scottish economy. Once pupils are back at school in August, learning providers will be in touch with Employers to finalise FA Placements. Where possible, keep in regular contact with your training provider allowing for longer than normal response times. The latest guidance for Training Providers is available on our dedicated training provider webpage.   

For those employers that offered a placement in 2019/20, SDS and SQA released a joint statement on 12/6/2020 explaining how these have been completed. 

If you would like to speak to someone, please call the SDS Employer Helpline on 0800 783 6000.  

What do I do if an apprentice shows COVID-19 symptoms in the workplace?

If an apprentice is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should let you know immediately. They should avoid touching anything, cough or sneeze into a tissue and use a separate bathroom from others if possible. 

The latest advice from Government can be found here 

If someone with COVID-19 comes to work, you don’t have to close if you are an essential business. But you should follow the government’s cleaning advice. 


Where can I access funding to support my business through the impacts of COVID-19?

Details on the range of advice and support for employers covering funding and  broad range of topics is available at 

The Scottish Government has also established a helpline for employers. 

The helpline number is 0300 303 0660 and is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm. 


Where can I access guidance on how to manage my business and support my staff?

Advice and support for employers covering a broad range of topics affecting business continuity is available at 

ACAS has advice for employers and employees on health and safety of staff and sick pay requirements. 

Scottish Enterprise has collated further sources of advice and support for business.

Where can I find out more about supporting my staff during the pandemic?

There is a range of information on Our Skillsforce about supporting your staff during this time.  This includes supporting physical and mental well-being; making adjustments for disabled staff; implementing flexible working practices and supporting staff with children or caring responsibilities.