Modern Apprenticeships

Build the skills you need in your business.

Your business needs skilled people. We've got the answer.

A Modern Apprentice is just like any other employee.

Except, they’re getting structured, on-the-job training and a qualification designed for your industry.

So, taking on an MA helps you build a skilled, motivated workforce.

  • We contribute towards the costs of training – saving you money
  • You can hire someone new, or use a Modern Apprenticeship to upskill existing staff

  • With more than 80 types of Modern Apprenticeship, you'll find one that suits the specific needs of your business

  • Employ a Modern Apprentice under the age of 25, and you won't have to pay employer Class 1 National Insurance contributions on their earnings. Find more information on

  • Learning on the job means MAs get to know your business inside out – and apply their learning right away
  • Modern Apprentices bring fresh ideas to your business

Find a Modern Apprenticeship that fits your business

There are over 80 Modern Apprenticeships, from construction to digital media. Search through the full list of frameworks. We’ll tell you who the apprenticeship is suitable for, what’s involved and what our contribution to training costs will be.

Hire a new employee

Hiring? Find out if the role you’ve got in mind is covered by a Modern Apprenticeship.

Search for a Modern Apprenticeship

Develop existing staff

A Modern Apprenticeship is a great way to develop the people already working for you.

Develop your employees

Find a training provider

Know what type of Modern Apprenticeship you want to offer? The next step is to find a training provider.

Find a training provider

What costs are involved in a Modern Apprenticeship?

A Modern Apprentice is just like any other employee. So, there's no different between an MA and the normal costs you'd have for other employees.

But remember, you'll have the added bonus of a contribution towards their training! And, because they're learning on the job, you can see the benefits of that training right away.

What salary should I offer?

You're responsible for paying the MA's wages. When setting a salary:

  • Remember you must pay at least the National Minimum Wage. For apprentices, as of April 1 2017 that's £3.50 per hour
  • It's not just about the minimum. Think about what level of salary will attract the best candidates, and about what others are offering. On, the average salary offered over the past year was £9,786 a year. How would yours compare, if candidates were looking at different job adverts?

Travel and equipment

An MA would pay their own way to and from work, as you'd expect from any employee. But they may have to travel to college or the training provider's premises for training. It's common practice for the employer to pay those travel costs. 

As a business, you'll also provide the tools and equipment an MA needs to do the job at hand.

Get expert advice on apprenticeships

We can give you free, one-to-one support, tailored to your business. Contact our Employer Engagement Team for free advice and support to get you started with apprenticeships.

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The training provider role

For each Modern Apprenticeship you offer, you'll work with an approved training provider. These training providers are contracted by Skills Development Scotland. We pay them directly (that's where our contribution towards the cost of training for MAs goes), so they deal with the funding side. 

Training providers can also help you find new recruits, and offer support for Modern Apprentices and employers.

Reach hundreds of potential employees with one simple upload

Advertise your Modern Apprenticeship vacancy here for free. We’ll post it on Universal Jobmatch and My World of Work, too. Plus, we promote vacancies through social media and email updates. And, our school careers advisers can point local pupils towards relevant vacancies.

Support for recruitment

Our site for employers, Our Skillsforce, has lots of helpful information to get you started.

Go to Our Skillsforce

Got a question?

You’ll find more information about uploading vacancies, and other questions, in our FAQs for employers.


% of employers say those who completed an MA are better able to do their job


% of employers would recommend Modern Apprenticeships to their industry


% of employers say MAs improved their productivity


% of employers say MAs improved staff morale

Financial incentives and support

Adopt an Apprentice

If you can take on a Modern Apprentice who's been made redundant from another employer, there's a financial incentive for your business.

For oil and gas businesses, this is £5000 – and for other industries, it's £2000.

Find out more at Our Skillsforce

Financial support in your area

Do you know what grants and initiatives are available in your area? We've pulled together a comprehensive guide so that you can find out about additional funding you could access on Our Skillsforce.

Search for funding

Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive

You could get up to £4000 if you recruit a young person who’s faced significant barriers to employment.

Find out more about SERI

Apprenticeships: The real benefits

Employers who hire Modern Apprentices, love Modern Apprentices. But don't take our word for it. Here's what they had to say.

Five reasons to employ and train a Modern Apprentice

Still need convincing? Check out our video for our top five reasons apprenticeships work for business.

Donna Johnstone, corporate communications manager, Doosan Babcock

'Modern Apprenticeships are such an important tool in addressing the skills gap currently facing the country.'

Auryn Chorley, Modern Apprentice for the Scotland Shop

'I think young apprentices help businesses because they bring a fresh eyesight to things. It continues the workforce on, and can bring a whole new atmosphere to a small business.'

Every kind of business

From big scale international firms, to social enterprises, to family-run firms, all kinds of businesses take on Modern Apprentices.

Eileen Harper, head of learning and development, Scottish Power

'With energy skills in high demand, we see the MA programme as a key way of growing our own talent and encouraging new blood in to the industry.'

Man in overalls and hard hat using climbing equipment to scale a telegraph pole
Female Microsoft employee working at a desk with desktop computer and Surface tablet

Steven Grier, country manager (Scotland), Microsoft

'We believe Modern Apprenticeships are fundamental to widening the available talent pool. They help businesses acquire the skills they need to grow.'

Carl Symons, Shetland Islands Council

'In Shetland at the moment, skilled people are short on the ground. The importance of apprenticeships is to bring through people to backfill as we retire.'

Widening opportunities

Find out why apprenticeships could help narrow the gender gap in the construction industry.

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Scottish Power Head of Learning and Development Eileen Harper in a hard hat and high-vis jacket on a construction site

Apprenticeships are for everyone

We want to ensure that apprenticeships are accessible. The benefit for you? A more diverse workforce is good for business. Plus, the funding contribution for disabled people and care experienced young people is at the highest level from ages 16 up to and including 29. 

Sometimes it just takes some simple adjustments to make your workplace more accessible. On Our Skillsforce, you'll find the information you need.

Why diversity is good for business

Equality toolkit for employers

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The apprenticeship levy

Employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million now pay an apprenticeship levy.

The levy is aimed at funding new apprenticeships across the UK.

About the levy

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