Expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships
20 March 2017
Thousands of young people will gain industry recognised
qualifications, real-world work experience and access to work-based
learning while still at school thanks to a massive expansion of the
Foundation Apprenticeship programme.
As part of the drive to improve attainment, Deputy First Minister
John Swinney announced that by the end of 2019, up to 5,000 young
people will start a Foundation Apprenticeship, up from 351 starts
Developed and delivered by Skills Development Scotland, Foundation
Apprenticeships are undertaken while still at school, at the same
time as pupils take traditional academic exams. They offer young
people the opportunity to gain a qualification while working with
some of Scotland's best-known employers in sectors such as
engineering and software development.
Mr Swinney said:
"As part of our work to deliver excellence for all, we are working
to widen access to university. But not every young person can or
should go on to university. That's why we have been reforming
vocational education and increasing the number of Modern
Apprenticeships, hitting new records every year on the road to our
target of 30,000 new starts by the end of this Parliament.
"We need the whole system to work together if we are going to make
the scale of difference that is our ambition. And, we need to break
down the barriers between the different parts of the system.
"That's what our new Foundation Apprenticeships do. They are
apprenticeships undertaken at school, with work-based learning,
alongside academic exams. They are the chance to get a head start
on a career by gaining industry-recognised qualifications, working
on real projects and gaining the experience every employer looks
"So far, this innovative approach has been small scale while this
ground breaking programme was developed. 350 Foundation
Apprenticeships were started in 2016.
"We will now massively expand that number. By the end of 2019,
5,000 new start Foundation Apprenticeships will be available in
Scotland's schools, raising the attainment bar in vocational
education and giving all our young people equal chances and choices
to succeed at school and to succeed in life."
Skills Development Scotland, Chief Executive, Damien Yeates
"Foundation Apprenticeships are a new and innovative way to equip
young people with industry recognised qualifications and practical
experience which meet industry demand and regional skills needs,
both now and in the future."
In August 2016 351 young people started a Foundation Apprenticeship
and from August 2017 the number of places available will increase
to 1,900. By the end of 2019, 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeship
places will be available for young people.
Foundation Apprenticeships are developed and delivered by Skills
Development Scotland with support from the European Social Fund.
The programme sees pupils complete the qualification over two
years, usually beginning in fifth year of school alongside studying
for Highers and National 5 qualifications.
Foundation Apprenticeships offer work experience and a
qualification in the following areas: business skills, civil
engineering, creative and digital media, engineering, financial
services, technology hardware, scientific technologies, social
services and software development.
Scottish Government website