MORE and more young people are choosing work-based learning pathways with Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships.

Foundation Apprenticeships are subject choices for school pupils while Graduate Apprenticeships are jobs with learning up to degree level.

Foundation Apprenticeships can help ensure a big future for pupils with progression into a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship job, college or university.

Graduate Apprenticeship jobs are a way to get qualified up to Masters level while in paid employment in key sectors that need highly skilled employees, such as engineering and IT. 

Businesses increasingly recognise the value of investing in new talent through work-based learning, with 96 per cent of employers saying Foundation Apprenticeships are a good way to develop the future workforce.

Since 2017, 4,692 learners have enrolled on a Graduate Apprenticeship, and research shows 90 per cent of Graduate Apprentice employers would recommend Graduate Apprenticeships to other employers.

A Foundation Apprenticeship gave engineer Harley Higgins a foot in the door with energy supply specialist Aggreko.

Harley, 18, of Greenock, realised that getting on-the-job experience combined with studying three days a week at West College Scotland in Paisley would help him decide which engineering path he wanted to follow. 

After completion he secured a Modern Apprenticeship job in Multi-skilled Engineering at Aggreko ahead of 300 other candidates. Harley said: “A Foundation Apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to experience the workplace and get involved in it, which was invaluable.  

“Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available and helped me develop relevant skills and knowledge.”  

Graduate Apprentice Anna Solek joined global investment firm JPMorgan Chase & Co as an apprentice software developer straight from school at 17. Less than three months after joining Anna was impressing her managers and writing code good enough to be deployed to production. 

Now in her third year of an IT (Software Development) Graduate Apprenticeship, Anna, who studies at the University of Strathclyde, regularly performs at the same level as senior colleagues and is learning cutting-edge Cloud computing skills. 

Anna, 19, has helped the company to deliver significant business benefits, including reducing development teams’ infrastructure costs, and recently completed AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification alongside her university studies. 


Anna said: “The Graduate Apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity because you start your career on day one, you get a degree and you earn a salary – there is no downside. I’m at the forefront of modernisation, learning new techniques on the job as they’re being introduced.” 

Development Degree Programme Leader Dr James Nightingale added: “Anna is outstanding in terms of her academic ability and a really solid performer. She is also at the forefront of engaging with women in STEM.” 

Software Engineer Goudham Suresh went into a Graduate Apprenticeship straight from school after a Foundation Apprenticeship with Scottish Enterprise got him in the door at BBC Scotland. 

Goudham works at Pacific Quay in Glasgow in core areas including the Aggregated Metadata Platform and the Music Rights and Management Project, which ensures music used by the BBC is accurately reported, so artists get the correct royalties.  

He has also worked on BBC news webpages to improve functionality and page loading speeds. 

Goudham, 20, of Giffnock, near Glasgow, who is studying for his Software Development degree at Glasgow University, said: “Doing the Foundation Apprenticeship at school gave me the edge when it came to my BBC interview – it was easy to talk about my experiences. Earning a salary [on a Graduate Apprenticeship] means I’ve been able to save money and help pay the bills at home, and it’s great not to have any student debt. 

BBC Scheme Specialist for Software Apprenticeship Schemes Nat Cadby said: “Apprentices bring fresh ideas, diversity and diverse thought and they encourage the teams they work with to learn new technology.”  

Harley, Anna and Goudham are all finalists in the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, organised by SDS and set to take place on Wednesday, 8 March. 

Register to watch the online event at


Work out a career pathway with helpful webinars

A HOST of apprenticeship information events for young people, parents, carers and employers are taking place across the country during Scottish Apprenticeship Week from March 6-10.

Two free, one-hour webinars on Monday 7 and Thursday 9 March from 6.30pm to 7.30pm will give practical tips and advice on how to apply for a Scottish Apprenticeship.

The Teams events will provide background on the types of apprenticeships available, eligibility, where to find out more information and how to find and apply for an apprenticeship.


Left, financial services firm Multrees Investor Services uses apprenticeships to secure a pipeline of talent



During each event a Skills Development Scotland careers adviser will provide CV and interview tips, an employer will share their views on the recruitment process and what they look for in candidates, while an apprentice will share their own experiences of finding and taking an apprenticeship.

Sign up for the event via the Eventbrite page at 

Currently, around 1,000 Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship vacancies are found on, with new vacancies posted daily by learning providers and recruiting employers from across Scotland. 

The website also has information on Foundation Apprenticeships for school pupils, with the tool to express an interest in taking one as a subject at school.

Organised by Scotland’s skills agency, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Apprenticeship Week shows the benefits work-based learning brings to people, businesses and the Scottish economy. This year’s campaign theme is Unlocking Potential, with the aim of showcasing what individuals and employers can achieve through apprenticeships.

To support employers, there are a series of free webinars taking place throughout the Week.

The webinars aim to provide more information on help available to take on an apprentice, the types of apprenticeship offered, how to get involved and the benefits of apprenticeships. 

Scottish Apprenticeships: Unlocking Potential for your business is a one-hour webinar on Monday March 6 at 11am. 

During the event there will be a discussion panel comprising employers, apprentices and a learning provider, all sharing experience of apprenticeships. An SDS employer adviser will also feature, to provide practical advice on funding and support available.  

It’s hosted by the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board which is the voice of industry for apprenticeships and held in partnership with Federation of Small Businesses, Business Gateway, Scottish Training Federation, Scottish Chamber of Commerce and SDS. 

Register to attend the SAAB employer event by visiting 
The event will be followed by a series of five SDS employer webinars from 7 to 10 March, focusing on specific topics based on feedback from businesses. 

The 45-minute sessions cover issues such as mentoring, attracting young talent through apprenticeships and how to have a say in apprenticeship development. 
Register to attend any of the SDS employer webinars by visiting the Our Skillsforce website at 

There’s a range of other events and activity for people and employers organised by campaign supporters taking place across the country during Scottish Apprenticeship Week. 

For more information on all of these events and to sign up to attend, check what has been registered online on the campaign hub’s calendar of events on