Applications open for SQA apprenticeship scheme

Three girls, finalists in the 2020 Scottish Apprenticeship Challenge

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has started recruiting for its latest intake of Modern Apprentices.

This year's SQA Pathway Programme will see successful applicants spend a year with Scotland's national awarding and accreditation body, gaining valuable work experience and a nationally recognised qualification.

The training programme is open to all young people aged between 16 and 19, and to care-experienced young people aged 16 to 29.

Sarah Anne Rooney, SQA Employee Development Programme Manager, says it is more important than ever that SQA continues to offer its own apprenticeship training opportunities.

Sarah Anne adds, 'Our Pathway Programme helps young people develop transferable skills in an interesting and supportive environment. They also gain a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Business and Administration as part of their apprenticeship, which demonstrates to future employers that their skills meet a national standard.'

Sarah Anne continues, 'We are excited to be implementing new ways to invest in young talent and continue our commitment to developing the young workforce.'

Former apprentices describe the benefits

Cameron Summerville, former apprentice at SQACameron Summerville, who secured a permanent job with SQA following his Modern Apprenticeship at its Shawfair office near Dalkeith, says he benefited hugely from the programme.

The former Ross High School pupil continues, 'Over the course of my training, I was supported by a number of fantastic mentors who really wanted the best for me and made sure I got the most out of my apprenticeship. They gave me their time and attention and helped me to develop my skills and work experience, while earning recognised qualifications. The whole experience gave me confidence in myself, and my abilities.

'I would absolutely encourage anyone who is trying to figure out what they want to do with their career to give an apprenticeship with SQA a try, as the experience you gain is priceless and will last a lifetime. What you do after the programme is up to you, but while you are with SQA, the team here will help you reach your goals.'

Fellow former apprentice Eve Cunningham, who is currently working from home after securing a permanent position, would also encourage young people to apply.

Eve Cunningham, former apprentice at SQAEve says, 'Come and do an apprenticeship, and study for a Business and Administration SVQ, which will give you a great start to your career. While you are developing your skills, you’re also are earning a wage.

'There is support available, and there are loads of people you can talk to – you have mentors, your assessor, line managers, supervisors and the other Modern Apprentices. I have become really good friends with all the girls.'

How SQA supports Modern Apprentices

Sarah Anne Rooney adds, 'We want to hear from applicants who are able to tell us that they are keen to learn. When you join SQA as a Modern Apprentice, we will fully support you to develop new skills, and at the end of the year you will have achieved a SVQ, which is a fantastic foundation on which to build your career.'

Sarah Anne continues, 'We realise that the pandemic presents certain challenges, but apprentices can be assured that, whatever the working environment, colleagues will be on hand to guide them in their learning.'

Get further information and apply

Applications are now open for entry onto the 2020 SQA Pathway Modern Apprenticeship programme.

Find out how to apply

For information on the SQA qualifications that underpin Modern Apprenticeships, Foundation Apprenticeships, and Graduate Apprenticeships, see our Apprenticeships pages.