Is an apprenticeship right for my child?

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Do you know there are three different types of apprenticeship in Scotland? Foundation, Modern and Graduate Level Apprenticeship 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 the chance to build the skills that employers need. They’re 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 about apprenticeships. 

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

Foundation Apprenticeships take two years to complete and usually start in fifth year along with Highers and National 5s. Your child will spend time away from school and study at college, as well as getting work experience with an employer.

Modern Apprenticeships are an option for your child if they’re leaving school. They’ll learn on the job and work towards a qualification – while getting paid too.

Graduate Level Apprenticeships will give your child 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. Aren’t apprenticeships just for traditional trades?

This is one of the most common misconceptions about apprenticeships. But it’s definitely not the case. You might be surprised at the number and variety of apprenticeships on offer in Scotland:

  • There are ten different kinds of Foundation Apprenticeship. Your child will get out of the classroom and get work experience with a real employer in areas such as business skills, civil engineering and scientific technologies. Find out more about the different kinds of Foundation Apprenticeship on apprenticeships.scot
  • There are around 80 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. There are roles in accountancy, journalism, cyber-security, sport, digital marketing and lots of other areas. You can find out about types of Modern Apprenticeship using the My career options search. And, by using their My World of Work account, your child can also find Modern Apprenticeships that would suit their skills, strengths, interests, ambition, education and experience
  • Graduate Level Apprenticeships are expanding in 2017. There will be 19 courses on offer across four subject areas – software development for business, IT management for business, civil engineering and engineering: design and manufacturing. Keep up-to-date on apprenticeships.scot

3. What qualifications can my child gain?

Your child will achieve a Foundation Apprenticeship (Group Award) in the particular subject. Foundation Apprenticeships are currently accepted as part of the entry requirements for many courses at Scottish Universities. 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 Level Apprenticeships your child can achieve a degree – even up to masters level.

MAs and GLAs 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 MA or GLA), 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 Apprenticeships.scot.