Modern Apprenticeships

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2014

SVQ Students - Modern Apprentice.

Find out about the events employers, organisations and individuals throughout Scotland are putting on to demonstrate their commitment to the Modern Apprenticeship programme and Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

SQA Recruits Modern Apprenticeships

Two former pupils from Newbattle Community High School and St David’s RC High School in Dalkeith have become SQA's first modern apprentices. School leavers Alexandra Kerr and Zak Birrell were recruited after staff visited their schools and gave detailed talks about the career and employment opportunities available at SQA. An open day was also held to encourage young people and their families to visit our offices and get insight into the apprenticeships on offer.

Both Zak and Alex will work across a number of different departments over the next two years at the Lowden office on the outskirts of Dalkeith find out more

SQA recruits Modern Apprentices at both our Dalkeith and Glasgow offices - find out more.

What is a Modern Apprenticeship?

Modern Apprenticeships offer anyone aged over 16 paid employment combined with the opportunity to train for jobs across a wide range of sectors. They are an exciting way of gaining skills and qualifications that will help to start a career without having to study full-time.

Modern Apprenticeships are supported by the Confederation of Business and Industry, the Trade Union Congress and a wide range of employers. All the Modern Apprenticeship frameworks are developed by the appropriate sector skills council in consultation with their industry. Modern Apprenticeship frameworks can also be used as the basis for training more established employees.

Off the job learning usually takes place through colleges or training providers.

What do they offer?

As a Modern Apprentice you will be employed from the very start of your training and will receive a wage from your employer. You will then be given the chance to develop expertise and knowledge through on-the-job assessment, as well as gaining vital skills such as teamwork and problem solving. Many Modern Apprentices also attend colleges or training centres to study the theory relating to their chosen occupation.

What will the training consist of and what qualifications are available

Although each Modern Apprenticeship framework is specific to a particular industry or sector, they are all made up of three parts:

SVQ Level 3

The occupational SVQ/NVQs for the sector at Level 3 are the core of every framework. Some frameworks may specify progression routes, which allow apprentices to work towards a Level 2 initially, and then progress to the Level 3 and Level 4 SVQ.

Core Skills

Everyone, regardless of the job they are doing, needs certain skills which help them to become a more flexible employee, able to adapt to constantly changing work situations. These skills are known as Core Skills and are:

  • Communication
  • Working With Others
  • Numeracy
  • Information Technology
  • Problem Solving

Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks

Modern Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of sectors and the format of training is decided by the appropriate Sector Skills Council. For more information on Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks, please visit the SDS website.

Industry specific training

To encourage employees' development and broaden training, some Modern Apprenticeships also contain additional components that vary from industry to industry. They may include additional units from other SVQs, industry-specific qualifications, or academic qualifications such as Higher National Certificates and Diplomas.

Case Study

Since leaving school in 2011, St Mirren midfielder, John McGinn has managed to keep his eye on the ball on the pitch while securing a place in the Scottish FA’s Modern Apprenticeship programme supporting young players

John earned five Highers at St Peter the Apostle high school in Clydebank before leaving school to pursue a professional football career.

Now in the second year of his Modern Apprenticeship, John is working towards his SVQ in Sports Excellence, while also studying an NQ in Sports Science.

Since making his first team debut earlier this season and establishing himself as a regular starter in the St Mirren midfield, playing a starring role in the Scottish Communities League Cup final, his season reached new heights when he captained the Scotland under-19 team in Serbia during an international friendly in April.

John puts much of his development on the pitch down to the skills he picked up on the Modern Apprenticeship programme: “Although I left school with a relatively strong set of Highers, I have definitely benefitted from studying the sports performance programme. I can analyse my own performances in training and games and I’m aware of good practice in health and fitness, all of which has aided my progression into the first team.”

“If I didn’t make it at St Mirren, I would still have wanted to go on to university, and the NQ I am studying just now at Reid Kerr College will help me to achieve this, if things don’t work out for me in the game.”

More information

If you think a Modern Apprenticeship could be the right choice for you, speak to your Careers Adviser or Guidance Teacher or contact your local Careers Office. You will be able to discuss all the options and find out what you can achieve through Modern Apprenticeship training. So get moving — recruitment has already started and the right job could be waiting for you!

The Skills Development Scotland website Our Skillsforce, gives useful information to employers about Modern Apprenticeships.