Developing Skills

Stramash Outdoors – Life Changing Outdoor Apprenticeships

Stramash Outdoors aims to make a real and lasting positive difference to the lives of children and young people from their bases in Oban, Fort William, Elgin, and beyond. One of the ways they do this is through their Apprenticeships, supported by SQA qualifications.  

Over the past two years, Stramash has been working in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council, and the Coastal Communities Fund to deliver their Outdoor Programmes SVQs.

Check out their video case studies:


Style for Success (Steps to Work Award) – East Renfrewshire Council and Maxxell Training

East Renfrewshire Council’s Schools Vocational Programme and business partner Maxxell Training are utilising SQA’s Steps to Work Award in their programme ‘Style for Success (Steps to Work)’ -  to re-engage young women from local secondary schools with education through a flexible and innovative approach to vocational study.

Working from the Education Department’s industry standard hair and beauty salon ‘Style Academy’, Maxxell Training deliver the Style for Success (Steps to Work) course to students from years S3 to S6, drawn from each of the seven local secondary schools. Two SQA units are delivered including Working in the Salon and Personal Development: Self Awareness at SCQF Levels 3 and 4.

Read more and watch the video case study: Steps to Work Award

Fife Council, Adult Basic Education Service

Following a social practices approach, tuition is arranged in small groups in local venues across Fife. People from all walks of life come to build their skills and confidence, following an Individual Learning Plan tailored to their personal goals and needs.

For many learners this allows them to change their own view of themselves in the world, from that of someone who has failed in education to someone who has the ability to learn and succeed. This fundamental shift in attitude can bring about huge changes in confidence and feelings of self-worth.

ABE tutors and assessors never forget that the learner is central, encouraging them to take control of their own learning journey, and allowing people to truly reach their full potential.

Community Learning and Development (CLD), West Dunbartonshire Council

Community Learning and Development (CLD) in West Dunbartonshire works with a range of partners to deliver a variety of lifelong learning opportunities across the local authority. Over the past year they have engaged with partners in order to expand the delivery of SQA qualifications.

The partnership approach ensures that providers work together to provide less duplicated, more integrated, lifelong learning opportunities for the people of West Dunbartonshire. The courses benefit the community as well as the individuals undertaking them.

By integrating SQA awards into learning, CLD is able to recognise people’s learning in a way that helps them gain employment, increases their confidence and also promotes lifelong learning.

ASET International Oil & Gas Training Academy, Aberdeen

ASET International Oil & Gas Training Academy is the wholly owned commercial education and training company of Aberdeen College. The company is acknowledged worldwide as a centre of excellence in training for the Oil and Gas industry.

Education and training programmes leading to SQA and OPITO Qualifications have been successfully delivered to a number of overseas companies, resulting in a higher level of relevant skills within the indigenous populations.

ASET uses state-of-the-art simulators to train Marine staff, essential to the worldwide oil and gas industry, to gain certification to International standards recognised by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC).

Additional turnover over the last three years has allowed ASET to improve local opportunities for employment. There has been an increase of 30% in staffing over the past 12 months and ASET is now advertising for additional staff.

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Edinburgh

For the past five years the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has been successfully running its Zoo and Environmental Skills Training (ZEST) programme offering students aged 15-17 a chance to do work experience in the zoo and obtain SQA awards in personal development and employability.

Having many positive results, RZSS decided to expand it to 17-21 year olds, specifically to those not in employment or training. The use of the SQA Certificate of Work Readiness provides the ideal platform to offer employability skills and experiences to prepare them for the world of work.

RZSS is in a unique position to deliver this qualification, being both a learning provider and employer offering work placement in multiple locations. The variety of working environments gives the students a range of work experience opportunities and enhances delivery. The course takes students, some of whom have been unemployed for several years, through important employability skills, step by step.

NC Electrical Engineering Scholarship

Glasgow City Council Education, Glasgow Kelvin College and several business partners collaborated to provide an innovative pathway into a range of engineering occupations for S5/S6 pupils.Ten young people were presented for the National Certificate (NC) in Electrical Engineering. It was described as a scholarship programme as it involved a school based element, a college based element and an extended work experience element.

The qualification was delivered jointly by Glasgow Kelvin College, Springburn Academy and St Mungo’s Academy and employers who offered work placements were Network Rail and Amey. Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Water provided site visits and introduction to the workplace sessions, delivered by industry experts.

This partnership model of delivery is set to continue, with more schools and employers using this model. Feedback from young people highlights the valuable contribution of employers and work based learning experiences.

Morrison Construction

Morrison Construction adopted SQA’s Employability Award as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy, giving young people at Newbattle High School a meaningful insight into the construction sector.

In 2013 Morrison Construction were awarded a contract to build the new site for Newbattle High School. Since then, the firm have worked in partnership with Midlothian Council to offer pupils at Newbattle the opportunity to complete a dedicated Employability and Construction programme, incorporating SQA’s Employability Award at SCQF level 4.

Watch the video case study: Morrison Construction

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council introduced SQA’s Employability Award into its Supported Employment Service programme to support young people with additional support needs who are looking to enter the work place.

The service works with local employers to determine their needs and match them to appropriate candidates for work experience placements. This programme prepares young people for what they can expect to find in the work place, and gives them the confidence to face challenges they may not have encountered before. Participants gain formal accreditation through SQA’s Employability Award at SCQF level 4.

Watch the video case study: Dumfries and Galloway Council

Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeen City Council includes SQA’s Volunteering Skills Award as part of its Cultivate programme, which helps adult learners develop employability skills within the arts and creative industries.

The aim of Cultivate is to build a structured approach to working with volunteers. The programme brings together a diverse group of people from the Aberdeen area, of different ages and from all walks of life, those with no previous volunteering experience and those who have volunteered before.

Throughout the duration of the programme, participants are able to develop a raft of sought-after skills that augment employability, including; teamwork, leadership, interpersonal skills, presentation skills, creativity, self-awareness, communication, research and analytical skills. Cultivate participants gain formal accreditation through SQA’s Volunteering Skills Award at SCQF level 4.

Watch the video case study: Aberdeen City Council