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Who are apprenticeships in Scotland for?

Scottish apprenticeships are different to the more traditional study routes available in Scotland. Find out if an apprenticeship would suit you.
Relevant to

To be considered for a modern or graduate level apprenticeship programme in Scotland, you need to have reached the Scottish statutory minimum school leaving age – for most people that’s 16. You also need to be:

  • living in Scotland
  • not in full-time education

Foundation apprenticeships are available for students in school, to take alongside their Highers and National 5s

Unlike in school, at college or on a traditional degree course, much of your learning will be through on-the-job training in your place of work.  

An apprenticeship may suit you if you:

  • have a clear idea of the job role or career you want to pursue 
  • are ready to start work with an employer – an apprenticeship is primarily a job
  • want to continue studying at a higher level, and would prefer a more practical and work-related approach to learning
  • are well organised and able to cope with the competing demands of work and learning at the same time
  • like the idea of using the experience you gain in the workplace to support your learning 

Whatever career path you would like to follow, you need to find out whether you’re able to reach your career goals through an apprenticeship, or if you need to or would prefer to study full-time at university or college.

Apprenticeships aren’t the ‘easy option’ – holding down a full-time job and studying takes commitment and hard work, and it won’t be right for everyone.

It’s competitive out there…

There are a limited number of apprenticeship vacancies, particularly at SCQF Level 8 and above — but this is likely to change as additional apprenticeships are developed, and more places become available.  

Read and download  UCAS' guide to apprenticeships in Scotland (1.04 MB)

Help and support

Apprenticeships.scot — a good source of information about vacancies.

My World of Work will help you make the most of your CV and interview skills and techniques.You can call My World of Work on 0800 917 8000

Into Apprenticeships — Guide for disabled people

Disability Rights UK has produced this guide, answering common questions, such as how to find an apprenticeship, whether the training will be accessible, and what support is available in the workplace. There are several inspiring stories written by disabled apprentices about their own experiences and the challenges they faced. It also contains a useful resources section listing further websites, publications, and organisations which can help.


International students

International students thinking about applying for apprenticeships in Scotland must be resident and eligible to work in Scotland, and have the necessary visas. International applicants need to contact the university/college and employer to check their eligibility criteria.

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