Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships are a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) initiative, providing work-based learning opportunities for learners in their senior phase of secondary education.

Outcomes for Foundation Apprenticeships in 2020

Because Foundation Apprenticeships blend classroom and workplace learning - COVID-19 restrictions have meant it has been difficult to complete the work-based elements and assessments.

In partnership with Colleges Scotland, SDS and Universities Scotland, the following outcomes will apply, depending on your situation.

  1. If you completed and passed all elements of your Foundation Apprenticeship. You will receive a Foundation Apprenticeship certificate, which can be used for entrance to college and university courses.
  2. If you have passed the NPA/NC element by the15 July 2020, or have had no ‘fails’ recorded, you'll get SQA certification for the units and the NPA/NC. You will also receive a Letter of Recognition which is recognised by colleges and universities for course admissions.
  3. If you were not on track to achieve the Foundation Apprenticeship - because you did not achieve the NPA/NC or have failed some elements. You will only get SQA certification for the elements you passed, but will not get a certificate or Letter of Recognition.

Read the full Foundation Apprenticeships statement.

Covid-19 guidance

Joint statement from Colleges Scotland, SQA, Skills Development Scotland and Universities Scotland on Foundation Apprenticeships

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) information

What are Foundation Apprenticeships?

Foundation Apprenticeships are a Skills Development Scotland (SDS) initiative, providing new, work-based learning opportunities for learners in their senior phase of secondary education. It enables them to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship while still at school.

Learners work towards a Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other subjects — their National 5 and Highers. They'll also spend part of the school week with a learning provider and with a local employer. They will work towards industry-recognised qualifications while developing skills and experience in the workplace.

If you are interested in offering or completing a Foundation Apprenticeship, please visit the SDS Apprenticeship website.

In addition, please download the Foundation Apprenticeship FAQ document for information on:

  • Becoming involved in delivering a Foundation Apprenticeship
  • SQA requirements, including becoming approved as an SQA Centre
  • Becoming approved for Foundation Apprenticeship components
  • Delivering a Foundation Apprenticeship in partnership with other organisations
  • SQA requirements for Quality Assurance and Verification
  • Recognising Prior Learning

What Foundation Apprenticeships are available?

  • Accountancy (GN7T 46)
  • Business Skills (GL8J 46)
  • Civil Engineering (GL51 46)
  • Creative and Digital Media (GM69 46)
  • Engineering (GL7C 46)
  • Financial Services (GL53 46)
  • Food and Drink Technologies (GN26 46)
  • Information Technology: Hardware/System Support (GL55 46)
  • Information Technology: Software Development (GL54 46)
  • Scientific Technologies (GN14 46)
  • Social Services and Healthcare (GL52 46)
  • Social Services: Children and Young People (GL7A 46)

What qualifications/units will a learner work towards to achieve a Foundation Apprenticeship?

Each Foundation Apprenticeship framework contains the following components:

  • A National Certificate (NC) or National Progression Award (NPA) – an industry recognised qualification which is taught within a classroom environment;
  • Selected Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) units – developed through National Occupational Standards, the units are completed within a work place environment.

Professional qualifications are also contained within the Accountancy and Food and Drink Technologies frameworks, which enable learners to gain industry specific skills within their apprenticeship.

Further information on the SDS Foundation Apprenticeship Frameworks.