Pathway Apprenticeship

Pathway is a Modern Apprenticeship. Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over sixteen paid employment combined with the opportunity to train for jobs. They are an exciting way of gaining skills and qualifications that will help start a career without having to study full time.

Over 33,000 people across Scotland are undertaking a Modern Apprenticeship.

About the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

The SQA is Scotland’s national awarding and certification body that develops and certificates most of the qualifications offered by Scotland’s schools, colleges and training organisations. Each year around 380,000 people receive certificates from the SQA - you are almost certain to know someone with an SQA qualification!

We employ over 800 people at our offices in Glasgow and Midlothian. Our offices are modern and provide good working conditions for all our staff to work productively and develop their careers. We are an equal opportunity employer and actively support our local communities. Our staff are given three days a year to volunteer to support activities in our local communities.

You can get view information about our Equality and Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility activities on our website.

Working at Optima, Glasgow

Pathway Apprentices will be located at Optima, our Glasgow Office. Optima is located in the Glasgow city centre financial district and is within easy walking distance of public transport links. Over 500 staff are based here.

SQA’s offices in Glasgow are modern and open planned. There is a staff restaurant – The Optima Café - that provides subsidised meals daily. SQA is a fair trade supporter and tea/coffee provided to staff is sourced from fair trade providers. SQA's reception area displays a wide range of artworks from young Scottish artists completing National Courses in Art and Design.

SQA Optima art work

We encourage our staff to lead healthy lifestyles and our Make A Change (MAC) Group provide a range of activities and exercise classes to support staff. We provide interest free loans to buy bikes. Shower facilities are available for staff who take part in exercise, jogging and cycling activities. SQA holds the prestigious Healthy Working Lives Gold Award. Events are held regularily in Optima, where you can find out lots more information about the MAC Group and other SQA Groups such as Informal (our Charity group), SQA Fair (our Fairtrade group) and information on Trade Union activities. All Pathway Apprentices are encouraged to take an active part in our social and community activities.

Working at Lowden, Dalkeith

Pathway Apprentices will be located at Lowden, our Midlothian Office. Lowden is our office in the Shawfair Business Park near Dalkeith. Over 250 staff are based here but this number increases by over 100 during the summer months when we employ temporary staff to help us with the school examination diet.

Lowden is a new office complex that was designed and built in 2011 to meet SQA’s specific business needs. It has a staff restaurant - Taste - that provides subsidised meals daily. A coffee shop is also available for drinks and snacks. Free car parking, bicycle racks and tea/coffee are provided. Our office is across the road from the Shawfair Park and Ride.

SQA Optima art work

We encourage our staff to lead healthy lifestyles and our Make A Change (MAC) Group provide a range of activities and exercise classes to support staff. We provide interest free loans to buy bikes. Shower facilities are available for staff who take part in exercise, jogging and cycling activities. SQA holds the prestigious Healthy Working Lives Gold Award. There is a community space at Lowden where you can find out lots more information about the MAC Group and other SQA Groups such as Informal (our Charity group), SQA Fair (our Fairtrade group) and information on Trade Union activities. All Pathway Apprentices are encouraged to take an active part in our social and community activities.

What is Pathway all about?

Pathway SQA Apprenticeship logo

Pathway is a unique apprenticeship scheme for young people offered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

What are we looking for?

Glasgow and Surrounding areas

  • Young people aged 16-19 years old from Glasgow and surrounding areas.
  • One higher pass at C in either English, Admin, Business Management or a related discipline/or a group of Intermediate 2 passes in Admin or Business Management
  • Good attendance record

East Lothian, Edinburgh and Midlothian

  • Young people aged 16 - 19 years old from East Lothian, Edinburgh or Midlothian
  • One higher pass at C in either English, Admin, Business Management or a related discipline/or a group of Intermediate 2 passes in Admin or Business Management
  • Good attendance record

Pathway Provides:

  • A two year apprenticeship with one of Scotland’s leading public sector organisations.
  • Training at College to study a HNC Administration and Information Technology.
  • Achieving an SVQ level 3 qualification in Business and Administration.
  • A tailored training plan and an SQA Mentor to support your personal development and career plans.
  • Two years on-the-job training and work experience to add to your CV and kick start your career in Business and Administration.
  • A welcoming and inclusive workplace that supports the local community.
  • An opportunity to apply for a permanent job at SQA on successful completion of your apprenticeship!
  • A monthly salary!

SVQs and the Business and Administration Framework

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) tell you exactly what you have to do in a job to do it well. They are based on National Standards which are drawn up by people from industry, commerce and education. This means that if you have an SVQ, then you have a way of proving that you can do your job well to National Standards.

SVQs are different from the qualifications you will have taken at school. There are no exams involved. You have to show us you are competent and able to do a business and administration job by gathering evidence and presenting this in a folio. Your Mentor and Assessor will help you through this process so that you are never alone or unsupported.

You can see the Business and Administration Level 3 qualifications framework online. This shows you the core units you need to complete and a range of optional units you can pick to best match your career aims and objectives. Your Assessor will help you through the process of picking units.

Salary and Mentors

The salary will be £14,287 per year.

Your Mentor will be a colleague who has agreed to support you throughout your apprenticeship. They will meet you regularly to review your progress and to support you in lots of practical ways. They are someone you can talk to, in confidence, about any work issue.

Making an Application

To apply for an Apprenticeship with SQA you must be aged between 16-19 years old.

Completed Application Forms should be submitted by Friday 20 May 2016.

Tell us on the form why we should give you a Pathway Apprenticeship:

  • What you are going to bring to our business
  • Where do you want to be in 3 years?
  • What you are good at?

Be creative and make sure you tell us about the real you.

If your application impresses us you will be asked to attend an interview at the beginning of June. You will then have the opportunity to tell us in person why we should make you a Pathway Apprentice.

If you are successful in gaining a Pathway Apprenticeship place you will start with us on Monday 22 August 2016.

Remember we are here to help you. If you would like to discuss anything about the recruitment process, or require help filling in your application form, call us on 0345 213 6810 or email jobs@sqa.org.uk