Recent adaptations to Foundation Apprenticeships during the pandemic have allowed young people in Scotland to continue benefiting from a wealth of industry experience.

Across Scotland employers, schools and learning providers have made changes to support pupils during the most challenging year any are likely to face.

For pupils across the country, the changes have also included how they have been supported to complete their Foundation Apprenticeships.

And with pupils heading into option choices, Foundation Apprenticeships are available across Scotland again.

Foundation Apprenticeships offer benefits to pupils providing industry knowledge, experience and insight, as well as a qualification at SCQF level 4, 5 or 6.

Introduced over five years ago as a senior phase option choice, more and more pupils each year are benefiting Foundation Apprenticeships.

Pupils gain meta-skills – like communications, creativity and problem solving – through industry experience and links with employers.

Skills Development Scotland had been working with SQA and others to enhance and adapt the qualifications, work that was accelerated as the impact of the pandemic and the requirements of physical distancing became clear.

These enhancements and adaptations have supported increased flexibility for delivery during the pandemic.

The skills body and qualifications organisation worked with learning providers, education partners and industry representatives to support pupils completing their Foundation Apprenticeships, those returning for their second year and new starts last year.

This included support to complete the Foundation Apprenticeships work placement element online and further development of a work-based challenge for pupils to get real industry insight.


Skills Development Scotland’s director of critical skills and occupations Diane Greenlees said: “Since their introduction, the strength in Foundation Apprenticeships has been collaboration.

“Schools and local authorities have been working with learning providers and employers for the benefit and choice of learners. These partnerships have meant that pupils have been able to continue to benefit from Foundation Apprenticeships during the past year.

“Like every aspect of education over the past year, Foundation Apprenticeships have changed and adapted.

“As part of the planned development of Foundation Apprenticeships, the adaptations and enhancements will further build confidence with schools, learners, and parents on their value for the next academic year and beyond.”

Scottish Government – through the flagship Developing the Young Workforce programme and the Young Person’s Guarantee – is committed to the role apprenticeships and work-based learning will play at the heart of economic recovery.

Apprenticeships directly support the Young Person’s Guarantee, which ensures access to training, employment, or an apprenticeship for everyone in Scotland aged 16 to 24. Diane added: “Work-based learning pathways and apprenticeships remain crucial and will equip young people with the skills employers want.”

 Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships at

Article in association with Skills Development Scotland.