Frequently asked questions

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?

Foundation Apprenticeships are a work-based learning opportunity for senior-phase secondary school pupils.  Lasting two years, pupils typically begin their Foundation Apprenticeship in S5. Young people spend time out of school at college or with a local employer, and complete the Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other subjects like National 5s and Highers.

It’s a chance to get valuable work experience and gain an industry recognised qualification.  It also lets you try out a career you are interested in while you’re still at school.

Why is it called a Foundation Apprenticeship?

The word Foundation comes from the term building a Foundation. As this programme provides students with the opportunity for success by supporting future career plans. It is also part of the Apprenticeship family as all courses include vocational learning, which is designed to be a natural pipeline into a Modern Apprenticeship.

What level is a Foundation Apprenticeship set at?

A Foundation Apprenticeship is SCQF Level 6 (the same level of learning as a SQA Higher).

Why have they been developed?

People learn in a variety of methods, for some the traditional theory based route works, however many learn best through a blend of theory and practical hands on experience. Research has shown that the earlier industry can be engaged through education, the more effective routes into employment become. FAs recognise this alternative learning approach and harnesses capabilities that can be otherwise neglected.

How is a Foundation Apprenticeship delivered?

The three Glasgow colleges deliver Glasgow Foundation Apprenticeships. In Year 1, students attend college on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. In Year 2, students will spend time getting hands on experience with an employer. Students time is shared between work placement and college.

What qualification will my young person achieve?

The Foundation apprenticeship comprises of two qualifications. Students will work towards industry recognised qualifications including Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), National Certificates (NC) and National Progression Awards (NPAs).

Will taking students away from school not hinder their core study topics like Maths and English?

No. All student timetables include a vocational option in S5/S6. These vocational slots are designed to avoid conflict with core topics. To be eligible, students must be studying towards National 5 and Higher over S5 and S6.

How will my young person benefit from a Foundation Apprenticeship?

Unemployment rates in Scotland are significantly higher for young people compared with adults. FAs support pupils to build the skills they will need to be successful when they leave school. For young people it is the chance to get a head start on their careers by gaining an industry recognised qualification, work on real projects and broaden their career options when they leave school.

My young person wants to go to University when they finish school. Should they work towards a Foundation Apprenticeship?

All Scottish Universities now recognise Foundation Apprenticeships. More information on how each University considers them can be found at

How can my young person progress after a Foundation Apprenticeship?

There are a variety of Progression opportunities for your young person after they complete a FA. Each provides the core elements of a Modern Apprenticeship. Young people will therefore fast-track through a Modern Apprenticeship as they won’t have to repeat the parts they completed at school. Higher Education progression is enhanced as students can apply from school directly onto College’s HNC/HND programmes or make an application for University. Employment prospects are also enhanced as participants will have gained extensive employer engagement and can therefore demonstrate greater experience in CV’s and applications for employment.

How will my young person travel to college?

Travel will be arranged by the Local Authority. In some cases, your young person will travel independently to college, and in other cases transport will be provided.

How can I find out more?

For more information please visit or contact Tracey Parker on 0141 630 5082 or by email