What’s a Modern Apprenticeship?
Anyone aged 16 or over can become a Modern Apprentice. But what exactly is an MA? It means you'll:
- Get a job – it’s a proper job with an employer. There are more than 80 types of MA, in all kinds of businesses – you could be working in anything from cyber security, TV production or tourism, to lab work, engineering or gamekeeping
- Get paid – Modern Apprentices must be paid at least the minimum wage. The average weekly gross pay for an apprentices in Scotland is £249
- Get qualified – you’ll come out of your apprenticeship with a qualification, as well as gaining skills and hands-on experience
Kick-start your career with a Modern Apprenticeship at apprenticeships.scot.
Types of Modern Apprenticeship
What qualification will I get out of it?
At the end of your MA, you’ll get a qualification. Modern Apprenticeships are available at four different levels, all mapped to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). This means you can see exactly what you’ve achieved. Your qualification will be accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority Accreditation (SQA), so you can be sure that the skills, training and knowledge you get is relevant and up to date.
You’ll be learning on the job, but you might do training out of work as well – at a local college or specialist training provider.
While you’re doing your apprenticeship, you’ll also be developing five core skills that employers want:
- Information and Communication Technology
- Problem Solving
- Working with Others
Do I need to pay any fees?
If you’re aged between 16 and 24, your employer and Skills Development Scotland will meet the costs of your MA. You can learn, earn, and avoid getting into student debt.
25+? You could still train as a Modern Apprentice, but funding works differently. In certain key industries, government support is available for specific MAs.
- Financial services
- Food and drink
- Life science
- Construction and building
- Manufacturing and engineering
In other industries, your employer would have to meet the costs of training themselves.
What do I need to get in?
Some industries want apprentices who have three or more National 4s (or Standard Grades at general level) or above, but other employers don’t ask for any formal qualifications at all. Some will ask for previous experience in the industry, but for others you won't need it. Look at the different types of Modern Apprenticeship to find more information on entry requirements.
You might also need to sit an aptitude test when you apply. Our advice on aptitude tests should help.
How to find a Modern Apprenticeship
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 apprenticeships.scot.
Where could it take me?
Your Modern Apprenticeship won’t limit what you can do in the future – but it’s likely to open up your opportunities.
Our research shows** that most people (92% of those surveyed) who complete an apprenticeship are still in work six months later. And 70% of those former apprentices stick with the same employer, too.
In some industries, you can work your way up through an apprenticeship programme to the highest level of Professional Apprentice. In others, you might end up going on to an HND or degree course.
Worst case scenario? You come out at the end with a qualification and experience – both things that employers want to see on your CV.
Want to take on an apprentice?
News and events
*Source: Apprenticeship pay survey 2014
** Source: Skills Development Scotland Modern Apprenticeship Outcomes survey 2012