What’s involved in an apprenticeship in Scotland?

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship in Scotland, it’s important you understand what’s involved.
  • Apprentices are employed by companies to do a job, and spend most of the week at work, focusing on learning the job. It's likely to include learning from colleagues across different levels of the business, typically working closely with someone more senior who will coach you and review your progress.
  • You will also spend time attending college, university, or training provider, or training at work.
  • There are different attendance models, which vary depending on which apprenticeship you’re doing. This could be one day per week (‘day release’), in blocks of a week or more (‘block release’), or online study. Some providers and employers use a combination of these. 
  • Like any degree or higher education programme, graduate level apprentices will have self-study and project-based learning to do in their own time.
  • For graduate level apprenticeships, the university or college attendance will be agreed between the employer, the apprentice, and the learning provider.
  • You will be expected to complete a number of assessments at different points in the apprenticeship programme. 

You can find out more about the range of apprenticeships available on the My World of Work website.

Amy, Level 6 design engineering technical apprentice

I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on the student experience, because there’s a similar apprentices community. We have three days for working and two days set aside for university studies. I want to inspire more young women into engineering and STEM roles, so for me it’s a great opportunity.

Apprenticeships contain the same three basic elements

1. A relevant qualification
  • Modern apprenticeships include a relevant SVQ or alternative competency based qualification (CBQ) at SCQF Level 5 to 7.
  • Technical apprenticeships include an HND, a professional qualification, SVQ, CBQ, or other qualification at SCQF Level 8 and above.
  • Graduate level apprenticeships include a professional qualification, or appropriate SVQ or CBQ, at SCQF Level 10 and above.
2. Core skills or career skills
  • Core skills are included in modern apprenticeships. They include communication, numeracy, information and communication technology, problem-solving, and working with others.
  • Career skills are included in technical and professional apprenticeships. They include a range of SVQ units, selected to fit the apprentice and employer needs, in business administration, management (including business continuity and governance), customer service, and enterprise.
3. Industry-specific training

This is described in each apprenticeship framework.