Become a MA at SQA - Modern Apprenticeship recruitment gets underway

29 February 2016

SQA has announced that it will shortly begin recruiting for its annual intake of Modern Apprentices. Candidates from across SQA’s local communities will have the opportunity to apply for a limited number of places in SQA’s Pathway Apprenticeship programme.

For the past four years, SQA has offered Modern Apprenticeships at its sites in Dalkeith and Glasgow; giving local school leavers the chance to gain a training position working with Scotland’s national awarding and accreditation body in a variety of roles. Successful applicants will also have the opportunity to complete a Scottish Vocational Qualification (level 3) in Business and Administration, and a Higher National Certificate in Administration and IT at a local college during their employment.

From mid-March to the end of May, SQA will welcome applications from candidates for its 2016 Modern Apprentice positions. During this time, the organisation will hold an open event at its Lowden office near Dalkeith to pupils who are due to leave school this year.

As part of the recruitment activity, SQA has also produced a short film featuring its current apprentices, explaining why they became MAs at SQA.

Among the MAs featured in the film is Sean Gartland. Sean was SQA’s first Modern Apprentice to have been offered a permanent position after completing his training.  Sean now works as a Customer Service Operator within SQA’s Business Development and Customer Service Team.

Sean said: “I was told about SQA’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme by my careers advisor at school.  I thought it sounded like an interesting opportunity, and when I was told that I would be able to study for an HNC at college and towards a SVQ while I was working, I knew it was something I wanted to do.”

Sean continued: “It’s been a really interesting couple of years.  I worked across a number of departments during my training, but now I’m back in the Customer Service Team, dealing with enquiries and helping our customers, which is the part of the job I really enjoy.”

Raymond Holloway, Organisational Development Manager at SQA, said: “It’s important for an organisation such as SQA to support initiatives such as Scottish Apprenticeship Week, and demonstrate how we enable young people to enter the work place. Research shows that 96% of people who complete a Modern Apprenticeship are more able to do their job than those who haven’t, while 75% agree Modern Apprenticeships improve productivity*.”

“By offering meaningful on-the-job training, combined with the opportunity to complete high-value vocational qualifications, we’re giving our Modern Apprentices an excellent start on their career path.”

Maidie Cahill, Director of Corporate Services at SQA, said: “We have been a proud supporter of Scottish Apprenticeship Week for a number of years, and since 2012 we have recruited 15 young people to work at our sites in Glasgow and Dalkeith. 

“We work closely with local schools and across the community to identify candidates who are eager to learn while they earn and who will contribute to the success of the organisation.   Candidates such as Sean, exemplify the qualities that a Modern Apprenticeship can develop in a candidate and I’m looking forward to meeting this year’s intake.”

For more information about Modern Apprenticeships at SQA and how to apply for them, visit

Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday 29 February to Friday 04 March. For more information, visit




*Modern Apprenticeship Research - SDS Evaluation Research and LMI MA Employer Survey 2015 -