Scientific Technologies

Foundation Apprenticeship



This Foundation Apprenticeship gives pupils skills to prepare for a science-based career.

There's a growing demand for people with STEM skills. You can support them to choose a career in this thriving sector and help develop medicines and biotechnology. A Foundation Apprenticeship is a great way into the industry.

Examples of course units include:

National Progression Award (NPA)

  • Laboratory safety

  • Mathematics for science


  • Prepare compounds and solutions for scientific or technical use

  • Carry out simple scientific or technical tests using manual equipment

Apprenticeship framework(s)

Successful candidates will achieve a Foundation Apprenticeship in Scientific Technologies at SCQF Level 6. This is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher.

SCQF qualification levels explained

Select Level 6 to see the framework document and qualification at that level.

Entry requirements

Pupils don't need formal qualifications for entry but should have:

  • good written and spoken English

  • numeracy skills

  • an interest in working within a scientific technology environment

  • problem-solving skills

The pupil would select a Foundation Apprenticeship as a school subject choice. Then they'd go through a recruitment process arranged by the college, or other learning provider. It's great if you can get involved, too.

Progression and development

Pupils will get the skills, knowledge and competence to help them move on to:

  • a Modern Apprenticeship

  • more vocational training

  • further study at school or college

These will help them to prepare for working in science-based jobs.

If you're looking to hire, Foundation Apprenticeships help you spot talented pupils. You can assess their skills on a longer term than a regular interview process would allow.


How does it work?

In S5 pupils spend up to 10 days learning about the science industries. The learning provider facilitates this, in collaboration with the employer.

In S6, each pupil must complete a work placement of about 1 day a week. That helps them build the evidence needed to complete the units from the SVQ.

Placements must be with science employers and not a simulated placement such as a school or college laboratory.

Cost and funding

There’s no financial cost to you as an employer because the learner is still at school. But investing your time can bring rewards, with access to talented young people in your workplace.

How long will it take?

It can take 1 year or 2 years. Pupils study a Level 6 Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their school subjects, usually over S5 and/or S6.

What's next

Fill out our contact form and we'll connect you with your local learning provider who can talk to you about working with Foundation Apprenticeships.