Apprenticeships and your child

About 3 mins

Do you know there are 3 different types of apprenticeship in Scotland?

Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships are now on offer - meaning no matter what stage your child is at, an apprenticeship can help them towards their future career.

Apprenticeships give your child an opportunity to gain industry experience and work towards a qualification at the same time. 

To help you understand what an apprenticeship could offer your child, we’ve answered four big questions parents often have. 

We've also produced a guide with the National Parent Forum of Scotland to help you have conversations with your child about apprenticeships. 

1. What are the differences between the 3 types of apprenticeship?  

Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships usually take 2 years to complete and are available in S3 to S6. Some Foundation Apprenticeships can take one year to complete in 6th year of school. They're available at SCQF Levels 4, 5 and 6 which is equal to National 4, National 5 and Higher.

Your child will get industry knowledge and experience plus an industry recognised qualification.

Modern Apprenticeships 

An option if your child is leaving school.

They’ll learn on the job and work towards a qualification – while getting paid too.

Graduate Apprenticeships

These apprenticeships offer the chance to work, get paid, and get a degree at the same time.

They’ll spend most of their time learning on the job, but will also be a student at a university or college.

2. Are apprenticeships just for traditional trades?

No. That’s definitely not the case. You might be surprised at the number and variety of apprenticeships on offer in Scotland:

  • There are 15 different kinds of Foundation Apprenticeship. Your child will find out about the world of work and gain industry experience in areas such as business skills, civil engineering and scientific technologies. Find out more about the different kinds of Foundation Apprenticeship on
  • There are around 100 different types of Modern Apprenticeship. Your child could start their career with an apprenticeship in areas like science, healthcare, IT and digital, finance, fashion, arts, engineering, construction and renewable energy. Find out more on By using their My World of Work account, your child can also find Modern Apprenticeships that would suit their skills, strengths and interests
  • Graduate Apprenticeships are expanding. You can find out the latest updates on

3. What qualifications can my child gain?

Your child will achieve a Foundation Apprenticeship (Group Award) in the particular subject. Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 6 are currently accepted as part of the entry requirements for many courses at Scottish Universities. Those at SCQF Levels 4 and 5 are accepted at Scottish Colleges. And some of the units may include elements from a Modern Apprenticeship.

There are lots of different levels of Modern Apprenticeship, starting with qualifications at SCQF 5, all the way up to Professional Apprenticeships at SCQF 12. Have a look at the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework to see how they compare to things like HNCs, honours degrees and graduate diplomas. 

With a Graduate Apprenticeship, your child can achieve a degree – even up to masters level.

Modern Apprenticeships and Graduate Apprenticeships are a great alternative to college or university – it all depends on what kind of environment your child would best develop in. They'll come out with not only a qualification, but the soft skills that employers really value.

4. What can my child do after they’ve finished an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships can open up a number of opportunities for your child. They’ll have developed the skills that employers look for and gained qualifications too.

They may decide to go straight to work (or continue in employment if they are an Modern Apprentice or Graduate Apprentice), go on to further study at college or university or they could decide to start another apprenticeship.

Whatever route your child takes, an apprenticeship gives your child the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in their chosen industry.

To find out more about the different apprenticeships in Scotland and to search for current vacancies, visit


Need more support?

Guide your child through those all-important career conversations with My Kid's Career, our new site specially designed to support parents.