group of students wearing overalls in workshop

Foundation Apprenticeships

Get a head start in your career.

Skills Development Scotland logoFoundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are an exciting new addition to the range of opportunities available to school pupils about to go into S5. Designed as a blend of College, School and Work Based Learning they give young people the opportunity to secure an industry recognised qualification alongside valuable and accredited practical experience of the world of work!

Each Foundation Apprenticeship has been designed in partnership with industry to make sure that young people get the skills and knowledge they need to support a range of potential progression routes from school. During S5 Foundation Apprentices will spend the equivalent of a day a week (sometimes two afternoons a week) to work towards an industry relevant qualification. During S6 pupils will progress to extended work experience opportunities where they’ll get the opportunity to put the theory learnt into practice in the workplace! The blended experience of classroom based study and work based learning will lead to the development of skills essential for the workplace and industry recognised qualifications, set at SCQF Level 6 (the same level of learning as a Higher).

Who can enrol?

The 2 year Foundation Apprenticeship is for pupils about to start S5 who will be staying on at school until the end of S6 and are interested in progressing to future employment or Further or Higher Education in the subject area. Pupils will stay on at school whilst completing the Foundation Apprenticeship, so will be able to continue studying for national qualifications at National 5 or Higher level.


A range of progression opportunities are available to young people completing the Foundation Apprenticeship programme. For some they may continue to the full Modern Apprenticeship and “earn while they learn”, having already completed some of the required learning elements. Others may wish to continue with their education and depending on other Highers achieved would have the option of studying at HND level in a College, or going straight to University. They may even follow the articulation routes from HNC or HND studies at College onto University degree programmes – all the while with valuable industry recognised qualifications and experience under their belt ready to enter the workplace at any time suitable to them.

Find out how your FA can help you progress to College delivered HNC/D’s across Scotland here.

More general information on Foundation Apprenticeships is available on the Skills Development Scotland website.

Types of Foundation Apprenticeship

students working at a desk

Back to top

How to Apply

If you are interested in any of the Foundation Apprenticeship programmes being offered by NESCol in the coming Academic Year you should speak to your Guidance Teacher at school.

You will be asked to complete an application form and you may also be interviewed by College staff and representatives from the industries we will be working with. Applications for the 2018-20 intake are being accepted now.

Back to top


For more information, please contact:

Schools Liaison Team
Telephone: 01224 612393
Twitter: @NESColLinks

Back to top