Your questions answered

Current apprentices

If you are in the process of completing an apprenticeship and you can't find the answer to your question in the list below, please speak to your employer or learning provider.

Current Foundation Apprentices

When will I receive the results of my Foundation Apprenticeship? 

Foundation Apprenticeship certificates will be issued by SQA. Your certificate of achievement record will include your FA achievement. If your certificate does not include your FA please contact your Learning Provider directly.

There are results missing from my Foundation Apprenticeship certificate. What should I do?

Please contact your learning provider directly to discuss this further. All results are submitted to SQA by the school or learning provider where you undertook the qualification.

What should I do if I didn't receive the exam or assessment results I expected?

If you didn't get the results you were expecting, please contact your school or learning provider as soon as possible.


If you are still in school you can also speak to your school's careers adviser. If you have already left school, you can speak to a SDS adviser by calling 0800 917 8000. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. If you'd rather speak to someone in person, some of our career centres are now open by appointment only. Call your local centre to make an appointment. 

What if I do not complete my full Foundation Apprenticeship?

If you haven't completed the full Foundation Apprenticeship, you will still get a certificate of achievement from SQA. This will confirm all elements that you have achieved from taking the Foundation Apprenticeship. You can add these to your CV to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding and skills that you have gained. 

If I complete my Foundation Apprenticeship at a later date can I get an updated certificate of achievement from the SQA?

Yes, if your provider gives us evidence that you have completed your Foundation Apprenticeship at a later date you will receive your certificate of achievement at that time.

I am feeling stressed or anxious - where can I find support?

We have developed a resource to support you and your mental wellbeing, in partnership with Scottish mental health charity Penumbra. The resource covers a wide range of topics and offers links to lots of organisations who offer expert advice and help. Check out our Mental health resource for apprentices 

I’m not being well supported by my employer. Who should I speak to? 

Talk to your employer and explain what you think is wrong with your training. It’s in their interest to make sure you’re getting the right support. You can also speak directly to your learning provider to let them know your concerns. 

How can I save on bus and train fares?

If you are aged 11 to 26, you can use a Young Scot card, which offers discounts, including cheaper bus and train fares until your 19th birthday. You can apply on the Young Scot website.


Young people aged 5 to 21 will also be able to access the new free bus scheme in January 2022 using the National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot branded NEC. Please check the Transport Scotland website for updates.

I think I'm being treated unfairly at work - what can I do?

We have information about your rights at work, including about discrimination, on our site My World of Work. We'd recommend reading these and using the links to organisations who can help, such as Citizens Advice Scotland

Current Modern Apprentices

How long will my Modern Apprenticeship take? 

This depends on the type and level of apprenticeship you are completing as well as your own experience. You should speak to your learning provider who should be able to give you an estimated timeframe for achieving your apprenticeship.

What should I do if I'm unhappy with the training my learning provider is giving me?

Try having a chat with your learning provider first. They may be able to help you with the issue or guide you through the complaints process if appropriate.


Explain what you think could be better about your training. They could suggest ways to improve it, or you may have an idea about what you'd like to do differently.


You can put your concerns in writing by sending an email that explains what issues you have raised. This will help keep a record of everything discussed.


If this doesn't help, let your employer know. They can inform Skills Development Scotland and work together to find a solution.

Am I allowed time away from work to study for my Modern Apprenticeship? 

Yes, you're allowed time away from your workplace (e.g. the office, workshop, shop, home office etc) to study. You should speak to your learning provider who will be able to itell you about all training that takes place at or away from your workplace, for example at college. The time you spend in apprenticeship training that's not in your workplace (including the time needed to prepare and undertake assessments) is considered as time spent at work.

When I finish my Modern Apprenticeship, can I do one at a higher level? 

Yes, however there are a few things you and your employer need to consider. Will your job role change to support the move to a higher-level apprenticeship? Are you personally ready to take that next step? Is your existing or new employer prepared to support you through another apprenticeship? These are just some of the things you and your employer need to chat through. 

Can I go from a Foundation or Modern Apprenticeship to a Graduate Apprenticeship?

Yes. If you've completed a Foundation Apprenticeship or Modern Apprenticeship in the same subject, you can apply to become a Graduate Apprentice studying the same subject, if there are vacancies and you meet the entry requirements.


The Graduate Apprenticeship is designed so that you will not repeat previous learning. The employer and university will ensure that you join the programme at the right level, recognising any prior learning you've done. Search current apprenticeship vacancies

If I move employer can I still carry on with my Modern Apprenticeship? 

That’s up to your new employer, so the best thing is to ask them before you decide to move. Your learning provider might be able to help you explore your options with your new employer so it's a good idea to chat to them, too. 

Do I need to pay for my training or any personal protective equipment I need to do my job? 

No. Your employer has to pay for your training and provide you with personal protective equipment. If that’s not happening, speak to your learning provider. 

Does the Modern Apprenticeship programme cover the costs of my travel to work? 

No, you’ll be expected to cover your own travel costs, just like other employees. 

I travel to college every week. Can I claim my travel expenses? 

Not usually – travel expenses to college aren’t covered by the Modern Apprentice. However, your employer may be prepared to pay some or all of your college travel expenses. Ask your employer or learning provider when you meet them. 

How can I save on bus and train fares?

If you are aged 11 to 26, you can use a Young Scot card, which offers discounts, including cheaper bus and train fares until your 19th birthday. You can apply on the Young Scot website.


Young people aged 5 to 21 will also be able to access the new free bus scheme in January 2022 using the National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot branded NEC. Please check the Transport Scotland website for updates.

What holidays do I get as a Modern Apprentice? 

Every worker in the UK is entitled to a minimum number of paid holidays. You are entitled to 5.6 weeks (28 days if you work five days a week) of paid leave per year. Your employer can choose to include public holidays in this total. Find out more about your rights, including paid leave, on the My World of Work website.

Do I need to use my holiday allowance when my employer tells me to?

Yes, employers do have the right to tell you when to take your annual leave if they need to. For example, if your workplace closes for a week, they can tell everyone to use their holiday entitlement.

What happens if I have to put my studies on hold for a while?

There could be several reasons why you have to put your studies on hold for a while, such as ill health. You may be able to do this for up to 12 months. However, if the suspension is any longer than 12 months, your learning provider will need to re-register you as part of a new cohort. You may be eligible for accelerated entry back into the programme based on the level of learning you reached before. If you need to put your studies on hold, the first thing to do is speak to your learning provider and they will be able to advise you.

I am feeling stressed or anxious - where can I find support?

We have developed a resource to support you and your mental wellbeing, in partnership with Scottish mental health charity Penumbra. The resource covers a wide range of topics and offers links to lots of organisations who offer expert advice and help. Check out our Mental health resource for apprentices 

I’m not being well supported by my employer. Who should I speak to? 

Talk to your employer and explain what you think is wrong with your training. It’s in their interest to make sure you’re getting the right support. You can also speak directly to your learning provider to let them know your concerns. 

How do I contact a careers adviser?

Careers advisers are over the phone or online and some Skills Development Scotland career advice centres have now reopened. You can also phone 0800 917 8000 to be put in touch with your local Skills Development Scotland team or visit My World of Work for more information on finding a careers adviser near you.

I think I'm being treated unfairly at work - what can I do?

We have information about your rights at work, including about discrimination, on our site My World of Work. We'd recommend reading these and using the links to organisations who can help, such as Citizens Advice Scotland

I’m an apprentice and have been made redundant. What do I do?

If you have been made redundant, please notify your training provider as soon as possible so that we can put support in place and implement the redundancy processes.


Here are some ways that Skills Development Scotland (SDS) can support you:
- Apprentice Transition Plan - If you're an apprentice who has been made redundant or unemployed as a result of COVID-19 the Apprentice Transition Plan service can help you find new work or move to further learning.
- Adopt an Apprentice - We also provide support through the Adopt an Apprentice scheme, which can help find new employment for apprentices with other employers that are able to support.
- Career Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) - Skills Development Scotland's CIAG colleagues offer all-age career guidance service. Individuals can contact their local SDS team or visit myworldofwork.co.uk.   
- Online Learning Portal - SDS has introduced an Online Learning Portal in response to COVID-19, connecting people with thousands of free-to-access online learning materials. Working closely with learning providers, additional resources will be added in the coming weeks and months. 
- PACE - The Scottish Government’s Partnership for Continuing Employment (PACE) is a well-established service to support individuals and employers dealing with redundancy. To find out more, please visit the PACE website redundancyscotland.co.uk or call 0800 917 8000. 

I’m being paid less than the National Minimum Wage. What should I do? 

You should speak to your employer and tell them you think you should be getting paid more. You can ask them to explain how they calculated your pay. Remember, if they’ve been underpaying you, they’ll have to make up the difference, too. You can find out more about your rights, including pay, on our sister site My World of Work 

Will learners be able to access SAAS funding if they have already used SAAS funding for a degree?

Learners who already hold a degree qualification may still be eligible to apply and be awarded for Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding. Each university will be able to advise on the funding criteria for individual situations.

Will access to SAAS funding impact on a learner's ability to access postgraduate funding in the future?

Learners should contact Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to discuss their specific circumstances.

Current Graduate Apprentices

 Do I have to apply for funding from Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to cover tuition fees in my Graduate Apprenticeship?

Yes, you will have to apply to Student Awards Agency Scotland annually for each year of your course for tuition fees, which will be paid directly by SAAS to the university you attend. For more information on funding for Graduate Apprenticeships, please visit the SAAS website.

What should I do if I'm unhappy with the training my learning provider is giving me?

Try having a chat with your learning provider first. They may be able to help you with the issue or guide you through the complaints process if appropriate.


Explain what you think could be better about your training. They could suggest ways to improve it, or you may have an idea about what you'd like to do differently.


You can put your concerns in writing by sending an email that explains what issues you have raised. This will help keep a record of everything discussed.


If this doesn't help, let your employer know. They can inform Skills Development Scotland and work together to find a solution.

How can I save on bus and train fares?

If you are aged 11 to 26, you can use a Young Scot card, which offers discounts, including cheaper bus and train fares until your 19th birthday. You can apply on the Young Scot website.


Young people aged 5 to 21 will also be able to access the new free bus scheme in January 2022 using the National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot branded NEC. Please check the Transport Scotland website for updates.

Do I need to use my holiday allowance when my employer tells me to?

Yes, employers do have the right to tell you when to take your annual leave if they need to. For example, if your workplace closes for a week, they can tell everyone to use their holiday entitlement.

What happens if I have to put my studies on hold for a while?

There could be several reasons why you have to put your studies on hold for a while, such as ill health. You may be able to do this for up to 12 months. However, if the suspension is any longer than 12 months, your learning provider will need to re-register you as part of a new cohort. You may be eligible for accelerated entry back into the programme based on the level of learning you reached before. If you need to put your studies on hold, the first thing to do is speak to your learning provider and they will be able to advise you.

What happens if I cannot meet the academic demands of the course?

If your academic work doesn't meet the required standard, you'll be offered resits in line with the university or college policy. If you are not successful in resits, you'll be offered an award at the last achievement level (for example an Ordinary Degree, Diploma of Higher Education, or Certificate of Higher Education).

What happens if my employer terminates my employment before I complete my Graduate Apprenticeship?

If your employer can no longer keep you in employment, you'll have the option to continue your apprenticeship with another employer, where available, or to join a related course with the university or college who is delivering your learning. Skills Development Scotland will be involved to provide support.

How do I contact a careers adviser?

Careers advisers are over the phone or online and some Skills Development Scotland career advice centres have now reopened. You can also phone 0800 917 8000 to be put in touch with your local Skills Development Scotland team or visit My World of Work for more information on finding a careers adviser near you.

I am feeling stressed or anxious - where can I find support?

We have developed a resource to support you and your mental wellbeing, in partnership with Scottish mental health charity Penumbra. The resource covers a wide range of topics and offers links to lots of organisations who offer expert advice and help. Check out our Mental health resource for apprentices 

I think I'm being treated unfairly at work - what can I do?

We have information about your rights at work, including about discrimination, on our site My World of Work. We'd recommend reading these and using the links to organisations who can help, such as Citizens Advice Scotland

I’m an apprentice and have been made redundant. What do I do?

If you have been made redundant, please notify your training provider as soon as possible so that we can put support in place and implement the redundancy processes.


Here are some ways that Skills Development Scotland (SDS) can support you:
- Apprentice Transition Plan - If you're an apprentice who has been made redundant or unemployed as a result of COVID-19 the Apprentice Transition Plan service can help you find new work or move to further learning.
- Adopt an Apprentice - We also provide support through the Adopt an Apprentice scheme, which can help find new employment for apprentices with other employers that are able to support.
- Career Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) - Skills Development Scotland's CIAG colleagues offer all-age career guidance service. Individuals can contact their local SDS team or visit myworldofwork.co.uk.   
- Online Learning Portal - SDS has introduced an Online Learning Portal in response to COVID-19, connecting people with thousands of free-to-access online learning materials. Working closely with learning providers, additional resources will be added in the coming weeks and months. 
- PACE - The Scottish Government’s Partnership for Continuing Employment (PACE) is a well-established service to support individuals and employers dealing with redundancy. To find out more, please visit the PACE website redundancyscotland.co.uk or call 0800 917 8000. 

I’m being paid less than the National Minimum Wage. What should I do? 

You should speak to your employer and tell them you think you should be getting paid more. You can ask them to explain how they calculated your pay. Remember, if they’ve been underpaying you, they’ll have to make up the difference, too. You can find out more about your rights, including pay, on our sister site My World of Work 

Will learners be able to access SAAS funding if they have already used SAAS funding for a degree?

Learners who already hold a degree qualification may still be eligible to apply and be awarded for Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding. Each university will be able to advise on the funding criteria for individual situations.

Will access to SAAS funding impact on a learner's ability to access postgraduate funding in the future?

Learners should contact Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to discuss their specific circumstances.

Does SAAS funding also support Graduate Apprentices at SCQF L11?

Yes.

Potential apprentices

If you are considering applying for an apprenticeship and can't find answers to your questions here, our advisers are available to help. You can speak to an adviser by calling 0800 917 8000.

General questions

Can I become an apprentice if I'm already in employment?

Yes, apprenticeships are open to existing employees as well as new applicants. Ask your employer about options for beginning a Graduate Apprenticeship.

What happens when I start my apprenticeship? How will I know if it’s right for me?

Your provider will keep in touch with you throughout the process of applying and starting your apprenticeship. At the start of your apprenticeship, they will carry out an initial assessment to ensure the training is tailored to you.

Can I go from a Foundation or Modern Apprenticeship to a Graduate Apprenticeship?

Yes. If you've completed a Foundation Apprenticeship or Modern Apprenticeship in the same subject, you can apply to become a Graduate Apprentice studying the same subject, if there are vacancies and you meet the entry requirements.


The Graduate Apprenticeship is designed so that you will not repeat previous learning. The employer and university will ensure that you join the programme at the right level, recognising any prior learning you've done. Search current apprenticeship vacancies

Can I apply for an apprenticeship if I am disabled?

We want to help everyone to find the right apprenticeship. Look out for the Disability Confident symbol on the Vacancy pages on Apprenticeships.scot. This symbol means if you apply, identify yourself as being disabled and meet the minimum criteria, you should be offered an interview.


If you are disabled or have learning difficulties, you might be eligible for additional support such as Access to Work grants. Access to Work can help you get or stay in work if you have a physical or mental health condition or disability. Find out more about Access to Work on the UK Government website.

I have applied for an apprenticeship vacancy. What happens now?

When you apply for an apprenticeship on our Vacancies search page, this is what will happen:



  • You will receive a confirmation email from the apprenticeships.scot team. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 24 hours please email our customer services team: customer.services@sds.co.uk

  • If the employer wants to take your application further, they will email you to let you know. Application numbers can be very high so if you do not hear anything more, it means that someone else was more suited to the role on this occasion.

  • Remember, you may not get an offer for every application. Employers add new apprenticeships regularly, so another great vacancy could be waiting for you. Apply for another one any time with our Vacancies search.

How do I contact a careers adviser?

Careers advisers are over the phone or online and some Skills Development Scotland career advice centres have now reopened. You can also phone 0800 917 8000 to be put in touch with your local Skills Development Scotland team or visit My World of Work for more information on finding a careers adviser near you.

I can't find any vacancies. What are my options?

Don't worry - new vacancies are added regularly. If you're looking for a Modern Apprenticeship, you can sign up to our email updates and you'll get alerts about new vacancies. For Foundation and Graduate Appenticeships, please keep checking the vacancies page for regular updates.
Why not consider a Pathway Apprenticeship

I am from abroad. Can I do an apprenticeship in Scotland?

To be eligible to take a Scottish Apprenticeship, you must have the right to work in the United Kingdom.


Visit Citizens Advice for more information about your right to work in the UK.

I finished school a few years ago. Will employers feel that I'm too old to do an apprenticeship?

No. Apprenticeships are about giving people a chance to develop their career while working towards a qualification.



As long as you’re aged 16 or over, a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship could be the right fit for you. 

Do Modern Apprenticeships have an age limit?

Modern Apprenticeships are open to everyone who is aged 16 or over. There is no upper age limit.


However, employers may only get funding for Modern Apprentices up to a certain age. This could have an influence on who they recruit for Modern Apprenticeship positions.

Will learners be able to access SAAS funding if they have already used SAAS funding for a degree?

Learners who already hold a degree qualification may still be eligible to apply and be awarded for Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding. Each university will be able to advise on the funding criteria for individual situations.

Will access to SAAS funding impact on a learner's ability to access postgraduate funding in the future?

Learners should contact Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to discuss their specific circumstances.

Does SAAS funding also support Graduate Apprentices at SCQF L11?

Yes.

Employers

If you currently employ an apprentice or are considering employing an apprentice in the future and you can't find an answer to your question in the list below, you can get free expert advice from one of our advisers by calling 0800 783 6000.

FAs

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship? 

Foundation Apprenticeships provide work-based learning opportunities for secondary school pupils. Young people spend time gaining work experience in your business as part of their studies in S5 and S6. Pupils can also take a Foundation Apprenticeship in S3 and S4, in some subjects. A learning provider will also support you by training the apprentice towards their qualification and help them to undertake real projects for your business. 


Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships.

What are the benefits of Foundation Apprenticeships for young people?

Foundation Apprenticeships equip young people with the knowledge, skills and experience to prepare them for the world of work, and help to broaden their options when they leave school. Youth unemployment rates remain much higher than the rate for all-ages unemployment in Scotland and we believe that Foundation Apprenticeships can play a role in improving youth employment. 

What are the benefits of Foundation Apprenticeships for employers?

There are many benefits for employers who engage in the programme, including:


- reducing recruitment costs by advertising free on Apprenticeships.scot
- accessing a brand-new pipeline of skills for your business
- raising the profile of your business
- retaining skills by enabling succession planning for an ageing workforce
- gaining new skills and fresh thinking by accessing a new generation of fresh talent
- fast-tracking your talent development. Young people get to know your business so if you chose to recruit, they can come in with a useful working knowledge and complete their Modern Apprenticeship faster
- providing the first step for a young person towards a career in your industry

What subjects and sectors are Foundation Apprenticeships available in? 

There are 12 different sectors available to study in at SCQF Level 6:


1. Accountancy
2. Business Skills
3. Civil Engineering
4. Creative & Digital Media
5. Engineering
6. Financial Services
7. Food & Drink Technologies
8. Hardware & System Support
9. Scientific Technologies
10. Social Services Children & Young People
11. Social Services & Healthcare
12. Software development


There are 3 sectors available to study in at SCQF Levels 4 and 5
1. Automotive SCQF L4
2. Construction SCQF L4 and 5
3. Hospitality SCQF L4 and 5


Find out more about these sectors and how you could deliver Foundation Apprenticeships

What units are included in Foundation Apprenticeship frameworks? 

For further information on the breakdown of each Foundation Apprenticeship framework, or type, read our Foundation Apprenticeships for Employers page.

How do Foundation Apprenticeships work? 

Foundation Apprenticeships are part of the senior phase school timetable. Pupils spend time at school with a Learning Provider and an employer. The delivery and assessment of the relevant National Certificate/National Progression Award takes mainly takes place at the Learning Provider. The work-based competence units are delivered and assessed in the workplace whilst the learner is on placement with the employer. However, employers are engaged with learners at various stages throughout the programme.

How do young people find out about Foundation Apprenticeships?

Foundation Apprentices are usually young people in S4 or S5 who are selecting their subject choices, so they find out about their options at school. Learning providers work with local authorities to raise awareness of Foundation Apprenticeships to school teachers and promote the opportunities to learners and parents. 

What kind of involvement can an employer have in the Foundation Apprenticeship programme? 

Employers can engage with learners throughout their journey on the programme at key stages with varying levels of involvement. The key aspect of employer involvement is the work placement for learners. Depending on the employer capacity this could be one or more learners and take place virtually or in person. 

What do Foundation Apprenticeship work placements involve?

The learning provider works with the employer and provides an outline of what the learner must cover during the work placement. This is verified by the learning-provider assessor who carries out placement visits to the learner. 

How are pupils matched to employer placements? 

All Learning Providers must have a robust recruitment and selection process in place. This may provide an opportunity for employers to be involved in supporting the selection of suitable young people for the programme. 

How are Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships different from each other? 

Modern Apprenticeships are employed status and gain on-the-job experience and off-the-job learning leading to industry-recognised qualifications. Foundation Apprenticeships are based on existing Modern Apprenticeship frameworks and allow school pupils to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship whilst still at school. As they are still in full-time education, pupils doing a Foundation Apprenticeship are non-employed.

Are there any costs involved in being a Foundation Apprentice employer? 

No, as an employer you will not incur any direct costs through being involved in the programme. The only thing you need to invest is your time, which can result in lasting rewards with access to talented and driven young people.

What if I have a suggestion about framework amendments or developments?

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is responsible for managing the the frameworks standards strategy through the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB). Any Foundation or Graduate Apprenticeship framework suggestions should be raised with SDS. You can find out about the different ways to get involved in developing an apprenticeship by submitting an interest at apprenticeship development.

MAs

What is a Modern Apprenticeship?

A Modern Apprenticeship is a job with training. New and existing employees can become a Modern Apprentice. They'll work towards an industry approved qualification and bring new ideas and skills to your workplace. A learning provider will help train your apprentice and we'll pay a contribution towards the cost of training. 


Find out more about Modern Apprenticeships.

What qualification(s) can a Modern Apprentice gain?

Modern Apprentices achieve an accredited vocational qualification at a variety of SCQF levels, from certificates at SCQF level 5 up to diplomas at SCQF level 8. In addition, all Modern Apprenticeships include certification of Core Skills.

Who pays the Modern Apprentice's salary? 

The Modern Apprentice will be just like any other employee of your business, so you'll pay their wages. Make sure you pay a salary that attracts the best people. Remember you must pay at least the National Minimum Wage. 

Who pays for the Modern Apprentice’s equipment? 

You’ll provide the tools and equipment a Modern Apprentice needs to do their job.

Can a small or medium-sized business take on an apprentice? 

Yes, there is no restriction on the size of organisation that can employ an Apprentice.

What happens if an apprentice has to suspend their studies?

Apprentices may be able to suspend studies for up to 12 months on request from Skills Development Scotland. If the suspension is longer than 12 months, the learning provider will need to re-register the apprentice as part of a new cohort. The apprentice may be eligible for accelerated entry into the programme based on the level of prior learning achieved. In any scenario the apprentice must still be in employment and their employer must be in agreement to support them through the remainder of the GA programme. 

I have a question related to current apprentices in my business.

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

Will learners be able to access SAAS funding if they have already used SAAS funding for a degree?

Learners who already hold a degree qualification may still be eligible to apply and be awarded for Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding. Each university will be able to advise on the funding criteria for individual situations.

GAs

What is a Graduate Apprenticeship?

Graduate Apprentices are new or existing employees of your business who are trained by colleges and universities. They'll spend around 80% of their time in work and 20% in training. It means the work and learning your apprentice does counts towards their qualification. 


Find out more about Graduate Apprenticeships.

How are Graduate Apprenticeships funded? 

From academic year 2021/22, new entrants to Graduate Apprenticeships will be funded by Scottish Funding Council core funding and tuition fees will be funded by Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

Which learners does SAAS funding apply to?

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding only applies to learners starting their Graduate Apprenticeship from the 2021/22 academic year and beyond. These learners will generally commence from August 2021 onwards. SAAS funding applications are not required for Graduate Apprentices who commenced their Graduate Apprenticeship before April 2021.

How often do Graduate Apprentices have to apply to SAAS?

Graduate Apprentice learners who are new entrants to the Graduate Apprenticeship programme will have to apply to Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for their initial funding. This needs to be followed with an annual application to SAAS until the learner has completed their Graduate Apprenticeship. Applying to SAAS is a straightforward process, the learning provider will be able to provide support if required.

What impact does the SAAS application have on the employer recruitment process of a Graduate Apprentice?

Employers should continue to apply their standard Graduate Apprenticeship recruitment process however, from 2021 the employee is required to apply for Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding for tuition fees. The employer should build in some extra time for this step. The decision on learner eligibility for a GA will continue to be taken by the provider - SAAS will not determine learner eligibility. The provider will advise the apprentice and employer on next steps when applying for SAAS. Further SAAS guidance is available here.

Who pays Graduate apprentices and how much should they be paid? 

Graduate apprentices are employees, so their employer will be expected to pay their salary. This salary is not set by Skills Development Scotland but we do encourage all employers to pay the Living Wage. The employer will be expected to employ the apprentice full-time with full access to any facilities or benefits that you provide for other staff.

What is expected of Graduate Apprentice employers?

Typically, the following would be expected of a Graduate Apprentice employer:


- Meet with the learning provider, also known as the delivery partner (university/college/other provider) to agree the structure of the Graduate Apprentice programme. This includes assessment methods, time spent at university, and projects that will need to be supported in the workplace.
- Attend quarterly meetings with the delivery partner and the Graduate Apprentice, who is their employee.
- Mentor the Graduate Apprentice and get involved in training and assessment elements, as agreed with the learning provider.


The role of the employer depends on the individual partnership between the employer and the university, college or other learning provider. You can find a list of all the partners we are currently working with and the Graduate Apprenticeships they are offering at www.apprenticeships.scot.


Find out more about how employers work with Graduate Apprenticeships 
Search for a learning provider in your area 

Are Graduate Apprenticeships accredited by professional bodies? 

In most cases, the Graduate Apprenticeship courses have been mapped to professional body standards. That means that apprentices will be able to apply for membership to any professional body relevant to their industry, when their apprenticeship is finished. 

Who can apply for a Graduate Apprenticeship? 

To apply to become a Graduate Apprentice you should be a minimum of 16 years of age. There is no maximum age for applying to be a Graduate Apprentice. 

What qualifications are required to apply for a Graduate Apprentice? 

Every applicant should be assessed not just on formal qualifications but also existing work experience, during recruitment. The Graduate Apprenticeship is designed so that previous learning will not be repeated. 

If someone has an existing qualification in the same subject as a Graduate Apprenticeship they apply for, are they still eligible for funding? 

You could apply for funding for a Graduate Apprenticeship in a similar subject area if your existing qualification is at a lower level. You may also be eligible for funding if you have a similar level of qualification, but in a different subject area.

What qualification(s) can a Graduate Apprentice gain? 

Graduate Apprentices can a variety of qualifications depending on the apprenticeship. They range from SCQF level 8 (Dip HE) through to SCQF level 11 (master’s degree level). The qualification an apprentice receives at the end is the same as the one they would get on a conventional learning programme with a further or higher education institute. 

How long does it take to complete a Graduate Apprenticeship? 

A Graduate Apprenticeship at SCQF level 10 (honours degree level) will take up to 4 years to complete and a Graduate Apprenticeship at SCQF level 8 (Dip HE level) will take up to 2 years to complete.


Some people may complete the Graduate Apprenticeship in a shorter period of time because the working year is longer than the university year, meaning the overall time may be reduced. 

How will the learning element of the GA work in practice? 

Graduate apprentices spend around 80% of their time in work and 20% of time with a university or college. That may be 4 days a week at work and 1 in college, or the time may be split another way, such as a certain amount of hours per month at college. Graduate Apprentices are simply employees who spend some of their time studying.

What if my preferred delivery partner doesn’t offer a Graduate Apprenticeship course I am interested in? 

Delivery partners tend to offer Graduate Apprenticeship programmes that match closely with their academic prospectus. We work with a range of delivery partners who can offer Graduate Apprenticeships regardless of geography and would recommend you get in touch with your preferred partner to discuss your specific requirements.

Can a small or medium-sized business take on an apprentice? 

Yes, there is no restriction on the size of organisation that can employ an Apprentice.

How and when are Graduate Apprentices recruited?

The normal steps to recruit a Graduate Apprentice are as follows:


- The employer will contact the university/college delivering the course they are interested in
- The employer and university/college will discuss entry requirements, timescales for recruitment, course content and assessment methods
- The employer will create the job description (including entry requirements and a closing date)
- The employer will advertise the Graduate Apprenticeship vacancy on apprenticeships.scot (there is no cost to the employer for this service).
- The employer will be sent all job applications received
- The employer will liaise with the delivery partner throughout recruitment process, with support provided at interview stages


These steps can be varied in agreement with the delivery partner.


Graduate Apprentices are not bound by traditional university timetables so courses could start at any point throughout the year. However, there will usually be some alignment with academic semesters with most start dates occurring between January and September. This would be agreed between the employers recruiting Graduate Apprentices and the universities/colleges providing the GA.

Do Graduate Apprenticeships have flexible 'entry and exit points'? 

Yes, Graduate Apprenticeships have flexible entry and exit points in the programme so that apprentices begin and end their study at the right point. The learning provider will take into consideration what a Graduate apprentice has previously studied along with any relevant industry experience and agree their current stage with their employer. 

Does an employer receive any payment from SDS for taking on a GA apprentice? 

Since 2021, Graduate Apprentices' learning costs are funded by Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for the full duration of the course. Graduate Apprentices must apply directly to SAAS for their funding. 

What happens if an apprentice has to suspend their studies?

Apprentices may be able to suspend studies for up to 12 months on request from Skills Development Scotland. If the suspension is longer than 12 months, the learning provider will need to re-register the apprentice as part of a new cohort. The apprentice may be eligible for accelerated entry into the programme based on the level of prior learning achieved. In any scenario the apprentice must still be in employment and their employer must be in agreement to support them through the remainder of the GA programme. 

Will there be any cost implications for an employer if an apprentice leaves their employment before completing their Graduate Apprenticeship? 

No costs will be reclaimed in relation to any of the individual's learning costs. 

I have a question related to current apprentices in my business.

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

Will learners be able to access SAAS funding if they have already used SAAS funding for a degree?

Learners who already hold a degree qualification may still be eligible to apply and be awarded for Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding. Each university will be able to advise on the funding criteria for individual situations.

What if I have a suggestion about framework amendments or developments?

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is responsible for managing the the frameworks standards strategy through the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB). Any Foundation or Graduate Apprenticeship framework suggestions should be raised with SDS. You can find out about the different ways to get involved in developing an apprenticeship by submitting an interest at apprenticeship development.

Frameworks

What are frameworks and how do they work? 

A framework is a type or category of apprenticeship. The framework sets out the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to do the apprenticeship. There are more than 100 frameworks, covering a huge range of jobs. Each framework is put together by a sector skills council, working closely with employers. Frameworks cover:
- the relevant SCQF/MA level or an alternative competency based qualification
- the core skills included
- details of any industry-specific training


Find a framework to suit your business or organisation

Will there be a framework for the job I have in mind? 

There's a good chance that there will be - there are over 100 frameworks, and most cover lots of different roles. 

How are apprenticeship frameworks developed?

Apprenticeships are developed through ongoing consultation with employers, universities, professional bodies and qualifications authorities in the form of Technical Expert Groups (TEGs). The TEGs act as an advisory group on behalf of the sector and are based on the premise that industry provides the expertise to identify the skills and knowledge they need for a competent graduate workforce. The academic representatives develop the programme, quality standards and alignment to professional accreditation required for delivery of the award. This process normally takes six months. 
Find out more about Technical Expert Groups and how apprenticeships are developed 

As an employer can I request the development of a new framework? 

Apprenticeships are developed in response to employer demand and fit with current and future skills needs. There are over 100 existing apprenticeship frameworks covering hundreds of jobs roles available. These are deliberately broad in topic coverage to ensure they are flexible and can transfer across occupations and sectors to meet the needs of a diverse range of employers. 


If, having reviewed existing availability, you still can't find an apprenticeship to support your needs, you can submit a request to change an existing framework or even suggest a potential new framework by completing a form.


Requests are treated on a case-by-case basis and we intend to respond to within 4 weeks of submission. 


If your request is rejected we will provide information to explain our decision, based on the criteria, and we will advise you of any existing framework that can support your needs instead.

Funding and pay

What funding can I get to take on apprentices? 

The type of funding you'll be able to access depends on the type of apprenticeship. Find out more about funding for Modern, Foundation and Graduate apprenticeships in our Introduction to Scottish Apprenticeships. You should also contact your local authority to see if there is any other funding available to support recruitment or wage costs. 

Who pays for the Modern Apprenticeship training?

Skills Development Scotland contribute towards the training costs for Modern Apprentices. We pay this directly to the training provider. You agree the full cost of the training with the provider and pay the balance directly to them.

Who pays the Modern Apprentice's salary? 

The Modern Apprentice will be just like any other employee of your business, so you'll pay their wages. Make sure you pay a salary that attracts the best people. Remember you must pay at least the National Minimum Wage. 

Who pays for the Modern Apprentice’s equipment? 

You’ll provide the tools and equipment a Modern Apprentice needs to do their job.

What about travel costs? 

Just like any other employee, a Modern Apprentice would normally pay their own way to and from work. It’s likely they’ll have to travel to college or the learning provider’s premises. It’s normal practice for employer to pay these costs. 

How are Graduate Apprenticeships funded? 

From academic year 2021/22, new entrants to Graduate Apprenticeships will be funded by Scottish Funding Council core funding and tuition fees will be funded by Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

Who pays Graduate apprentices and how much should they be paid? 

Graduate apprentices are employees, so their employer will be expected to pay their salary. This salary is not set by Skills Development Scotland but we do encourage all employers to pay the Living Wage. The employer will be expected to employ the apprentice full-time with full access to any facilities or benefits that you provide for other staff.

Does an employer receive any payment from SDS for taking on a GA apprentice? 

Since 2021, Graduate Apprentices' learning costs are funded by Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for the full duration of the course. Graduate Apprentices must apply directly to SAAS for their funding. 

Will there be any cost implications for an employer if an apprentice leaves their employment before completing their Graduate Apprenticeship? 

No costs will be reclaimed in relation to any of the individual's learning costs. 

Are Scottish apprenticeships funded in a similar way to apprenticeships in England? 

No. Scotland and England have different administrative arrangements for funding apprenticeships. 

Vacancies and recruitment

Can I recruit apprentices and advertise the vacancies on Apprenticeships.scot? 

Yes, you can advertise your vacancies and recruit apprentices free on Apprenticeships.scot. Have a look at our Guides for Employers for information on recruiting, including our handy guide to uploading a vacancy. 

Can I submit one apprentice job vacancy advert to cover multiple positions? 

Yes, if the positions are all for the same role and at the same location, you can treat it as one vacancy. Please remember to state the number of positions in your advert.

Can I submit one apprentice job vacancy advert for multiple positions in different locations? 

Yes, you can now add multiple positions in different locations in one advert. 

Can I bulk upload multiple vacancies? 

There’s no bulk upload facility. However, it’s easy to clone vacancies – this is a good way to speed things up when you have lots of vacancies to upload. 

Why was the job title changed on an apprenticeship job ad I posted?

To help candidates find your opportunity and understand what’s expected of them, we sometimes change a job title in the search results. However, the actual job title of your vacancy won’t change. 

How will I know if you reject an apprenticeship vacancy I post on your site?

We rarely decline a vacancy, but if this happens we’ll send an email explaining why to the address we have registered for your business. If you don’t see it in your inbox, check your spam or junk folder. 


A vacancy might be rejected simply because it doesn’t qualify under the apprenticeship rules. If we have any doubts or concerns, we’ll phone you to clarify these issues before making a decision. You can also log in to your Apprenticeships.scot dashboard where you’ll find the status of all of your vacancies. Any that have been declined will be clearly marked with a triangle and exclamation mark. You’ll be able to upload and re-submit the vacancy if any errors caused it to be declined.

I want to upload my logo. What type of file do you accept? 

We can accept png and jpeg files. The logo dimensions should be a minimum of 300 pixels wide and 300 pixels high and the file size shouldn’t exceed 500Kb. 

I’m having trouble uploading an apprenticeship vacancy. Can you help me?

Have a look at our handy guide to uploading a vacancy to Apprenticeships.scot in our Guidance for employers page. If you are still having trouble uploading a vacancy, please contact our Employer Helpline Number on 0800 783 6000 or contact customer.services@sds.co.uk.

How and when are Graduate Apprentices recruited?

The normal steps to recruit a Graduate Apprentice are as follows:


- The employer will contact the university/college delivering the course they are interested in
- The employer and university/college will discuss entry requirements, timescales for recruitment, course content and assessment methods
- The employer will create the job description (including entry requirements and a closing date)
- The employer will advertise the Graduate Apprenticeship vacancy on apprenticeships.scot (there is no cost to the employer for this service).
- The employer will be sent all job applications received
- The employer will liaise with the delivery partner throughout recruitment process, with support provided at interview stages


These steps can be varied in agreement with the delivery partner.


Graduate Apprentices are not bound by traditional university timetables so courses could start at any point throughout the year. However, there will usually be some alignment with academic semesters with most start dates occurring between January and September. This would be agreed between the employers recruiting Graduate Apprentices and the universities/colleges providing the GA.

Where can I access recruitment support?  

For support with recruitment and employment of apprentices, have a look at our guide for employers. There's a handy guide included showing you how to upload a vacancy.

Support

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 Scottish Government's Find Business Support website.

How can I support staff faced with redundancy?

If you are making an apprentice redundant, your apprentices can get support and advice from our PACE team on 0800 917 8000. Our related sites, My World of Work and My World of Work Careers, have employment and redundancy support and information, which is also available from our local careers centres.


The Apprentice Transition Plan service can offer support to Modern Apprentices by helping them to find new work or move to further learning. Encourage them to contact us for help. Find out more about the Apprentice Transition Plan.

I can recruit apprentices who have been made redundant. What support can I receive? 

If you can recruit an apprentice who has been made redundant, you may be able to access the Adopt an Apprentice Initiative. This allows you to access £5,000 to support a modern apprentice to complete their qualification as your employee. Read more about  Adopt an Apprentice

Levy information

What is the Apprenticeship Levy? 

The Apprenticeship Levy is a UK Government employment tax that came into effect on 6 April 2017. It is collected across the whole of the UK. All employers (public, private and third sector) with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year will pay the levy. 


The levy is set at 0.5% of an employer’s annual wage bill and each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 per year to offset against the levy. This means that although the levy applies to all employers, only employers with a wage bill over £3 million will pay it.

How will employers pay the Apprenticeship Levy? 

Each month, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will collect the Apprenticeship Levy through Pay As You Earn (PAYE),  payable alongside income tax and National Insurance. HM Treasury will allocate funding to the Scottish Government through the block grant. 

What will employers get back from the levy? 

The Scottish Government's response to the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy sets out how they will use the £221m of levy funding over 2017/18 to support skills, training and employment in Scotland. This includes the delivery of 30,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts per year by 2020, and the establishment of a Workforce Development Fund to help employers up-skill and re-skill their workforce. 

Do employers who fund their own apprenticeships still have to pay the Apprenticeship Levy? 

Yes. All employers with a wage bill greater than £3million will pay the levy. Employers could review their skills needs and consider how their current training could be delivered through an approved apprenticeship to maximise their return on the levy. 

Will employers who don’t pay the Apprenticeship Levy still get funding for apprenticeships? 

Yes. All employers will still be able to access funding for approved apprenticeships. We recognise that apprenticeships are an essential way for SMEs to develop their employees and contribute to growth. 

Are Scottish apprenticeships funded in a similar way to apprenticeships in England? 

No. Scotland and England have different administrative arrangements for funding apprenticeships. 

Do employers who pay a training levy still have to pay the Apprenticeship Levy? 

Yes, if they have a pay bill greater than £3 million, as the apprenticeship levy applies to all employers. 

What support will be available to help employers understand what these changes mean? 

SDS will work with employers, including industry bodies, to provide support as administrative arrangements are developed. 

Learning providers

If you currently train an apprentice or are considering training an apprentice in the future and you can't find an answer to your question in the list below, you can get free expert advice from one of our advisers by calling 0800 783 6000.

General

Where can I find more information for learning providers? 

You can find more information for apprenticeship learning providers in our dedicated learning provider section.

How will Foundation Apprenticeships feature within Insight Benchmarking Tool?

Insight Tariff data is captured via an uplift from SQA systems from the Scottish Government Benchmarking Team.  This procedure will be adapted to ensure that it captures those who receive Foundation Apprenticeship Certification or the Letter of Recognition.  Both cohorts will attract the existing tariff agreed against each framework.

How and when are Graduate Apprentices recruited?

The normal steps to recruit a Graduate Apprentice are as follows:


- The employer will contact the university/college delivering the course they are interested in
- The employer and university/college will discuss entry requirements, timescales for recruitment, course content and assessment methods
- The employer will create the job description (including entry requirements and a closing date)
- The employer will advertise the Graduate Apprenticeship vacancy on apprenticeships.scot (there is no cost to the employer for this service).
- The employer will be sent all job applications received
- The employer will liaise with the delivery partner throughout recruitment process, with support provided at interview stages


These steps can be varied in agreement with the delivery partner.


Graduate Apprentices are not bound by traditional university timetables so courses could start at any point throughout the year. However, there will usually be some alignment with academic semesters with most start dates occurring between January and September. This would be agreed between the employers recruiting Graduate Apprentices and the universities/colleges providing the GA.

Do Graduate Apprenticeships have flexible 'entry and exit points'? 

Yes, Graduate Apprenticeships have flexible entry and exit points in the programme so that apprentices begin and end their study at the right point. The learning provider will take into consideration what a Graduate apprentice has previously studied along with any relevant industry experience and agree their current stage with their employer. 

How often do Graduate Apprentices have to apply to SAAS?

Graduate Apprentice learners who are new entrants to the Graduate Apprenticeship programme will have to apply to Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for their initial funding. This needs to be followed with an annual application to SAAS until the learner has completed their Graduate Apprenticeship. Applying to SAAS is a straightforward process, the learning provider will be able to provide support if required.

What is the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board?

Led by employers and representatives from industry bodies across a range of sectors, the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB) [LINK TO https://www.apprenticeships.scot/about/scottish-apprenticeship-advisory-board/] provides employer leadership and contribution to the development of apprenticeships in Scotland. This ensures they are aligned with industry and economic need, Fair Work and job opportunities. The Board consists of four groups – a Group Board, Employer Engagement Group, Employer Equalities Group and Frameworks and Standards Group. 


Find out more about the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board 

How does apprenticeship policy differ across the UK? 

To understand the difference in apprenticeship policy across the four different UK countries you can read the SQA’s A Guide to Apprenticeships in the UK guide and view their interactive table. 

What if I have a suggestion about framework amendments or developments?

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is responsible for managing the the frameworks standards strategy through the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board (SAAB). Any Foundation or Graduate Apprenticeship framework suggestions should be raised with SDS. You can find out about the different ways to get involved in developing an apprenticeship by submitting an interest at apprenticeship development.

Funding

What sort of apprentice training does Skills Development Scotland provide funding for? 

We support training for various age groups that leads to recognised qualifications that are approved Modern Apprenticeship frameworks. The training covers a range of skills and industry sectors. Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks define the qualifications and their required levels. Find out more about apprenticeship frameworks

How are Graduate Apprenticeships funded? 

From academic year 2021/22, new entrants to Graduate Apprenticeships will be funded by Scottish Funding Council core funding and tuition fees will be funded by Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

Who pays Graduate apprentices and how much should they be paid? 

Graduate apprentices are employees, so their employer will be expected to pay their salary. This salary is not set by Skills Development Scotland but we do encourage all employers to pay the Living Wage. The employer will be expected to employ the apprentice full-time with full access to any facilities or benefits that you provide for other staff.

Which learners does SAAS funding apply to?

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding only applies to learners starting their Graduate Apprenticeship from the 2021/22 academic year and beyond. These learners will generally commence from August 2021 onwards. SAAS funding applications are not required for Graduate Apprentices who commenced their Graduate Apprenticeship before April 2021.

Will learners be able to access SAAS funding if they have already used SAAS funding for a degree?

Learners who already hold a degree qualification may still be eligible to apply and be awarded for Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding. Each university will be able to advise on the funding criteria for individual situations.

Does SAAS funding also support Graduate Apprentices at SCQF Level 11?

Yes.

Vacancies and recruitment

Where can I advertise my vacancies? 

You can advertise apprenticeship vacancies on our website – it’s completely free.

Can I submit one apprentice job vacancy advert to cover multiple positions? 

Yes, if the positions are all for the same role and at the same location, you can treat it as one vacancy. Please remember to state the number of positions in your advert.

Can I submit one apprentice job vacancy advert for multiple positions in different locations? 

Yes, you can now add multiple positions in different locations in one advert. 

Why was the job title changed on an apprenticeship job ad I posted?

To help candidates find your opportunity and understand what’s expected of them, we sometimes change a job title in the search results. However, the actual job title of your vacancy won’t change. 

Can I add a vacancy without saying who the employer is? 

If you choose, you can hide the employer’s information in the vacancy advert. However, we don’t recommend hiding the employer’s name; it’s helpful if apprentices know as much as possible about the job they’re applying for. Whether you choose to hide the details in the advert, you need to include them when you upload the vacancy so we know who is advertising the role.

I want to upload my logo. What type of file do you accept? 

We can accept png and jpeg files. The logo dimensions should be a minimum of 300 pixels wide and 300 pixels high and the file size shouldn’t exceed 500Kb. 

Can I bulk upload multiple vacancies? 

There’s no bulk upload facility. However, it’s easy to clone vacancies – this is a good way to speed things up when you have lots of vacancies to upload. 

How can I make sure a potential Modern Apprentice is right for the role? 

All Modern Apprentices must have an initial assessment, normally within their first two weeks of starting. This helps to ensure the role is right for them and helps to avoid Modern Apprentices leaving because the training isn’t suitable or they’re not committed to the role.
If you wish, you can arrange for an extended assessment period with the employer during the months before the Modern Apprentice starts. This gives you, the employer and the potential apprentice time to decide if it's the right choice. 
During this extended period the employer must pay the potential Modern Apprentice at least the National Minimum Wage as they’re not eligible for the apprenticeship rate at this stage