A quick guide to apprenticeships in Scotland. Find out what’s available, how to find one, and how to apply.

A quick guide to apprenticeships in Scotland. Find out what’s available, how to find one, and how to apply.

What's an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are designed to help you learn by doing, getting hands-on experience with an employer. It's also known as work-based learning. You get training to develop new skills, then put them into practice through either a work placement or a practical work project.

At the end of your apprenticeship, you get an industry recognised qualification showing what you've learned. 

There are now three different kinds of apprenticeship in Scotland: Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships. What you can do depends on what stage you're at.

Our sister site has information on how to become an apprentice, and what's available for you.

Foundation Apprenticeships: Skills for work, learned while at school

Still in school? Why not start an apprenticeship alongside your other subjects?

The same level as a Higher, National 5 or National 4, a Foundation Apprenticeship could be perfect for you.

Understand what working life is really like and learn practical skills, whilst you're still at school.

You'll learn about the world of work and you'll come out with an industry recognised qualification.


Find out what's available in your school on

Foundation Apprentice Tafara Gopoza, Civil Engineering
Bethany, AJ Engineering, Fabrication Welding Modern Apprentice

Modern Apprenticeships: Get a job, get paid, get qualified

With a Modern Apprenticeship, you learn on the job. You'll be just like any other employee, but you'll also be working towards a qualification. 

You could be spending some time at work, and some time at college or with a learning provider. But you'll be able to put your new skills into practice right away. And you're getting paid while you get your qualification.

Find out more about Modern Apprenticeships on

Finding a vacancy is updated every day with Modern Apprenticeship vacancies. Find and apply for a vacancy.

Not sure what you want to do?

There are more than 100 different MAs available, so you have plenty of options. You can use the My career options search here on My World of Work to find out about all the different types of MA. If you start using your My World of Work account, we can give you suggestions of which ones might suit you best.

Graduate Apprenticeships: Work your way to a degree

With a Graduate Apprenticeship, you'll be an employee - similar to a Modern Apprenticeship.

But you'll be spending some of your time at university, working towards a degree. And earning a wage at the same time.

Graduate Apprenticeships are growing, but there are already some opportunities available in key industries.

Find out more about Graduate Apprenticeships on

Supta, Scottish-Water, IT Partner Management Graduate Apprentice

Meet the apprentices

Mohammad, Samantha, Jonathan and Megan do very different jobs, but they're all earning as they learn as MAs.

Find out what they think of their apprenticeships.

Watch more stories like this at

Want to take on an apprentice?

Skills Development Scotland can support you to employ a young person as a Modern Apprentice.