Foundation Apprenticeships

A Foundation Apprenticeship can be one of your subject choices in S5 and S6. They are accepted as an equivalent to an SQA Higher by most colleges and universities in Scotland. Foundation Apprenticeships are completed alongside other senior subjects, such as SQA National 5s and Highers.

Get Experience in the World of Work

The main benefits of this type of apprenticeship are:

  • you'll gain valuable work experience
  • you'll have access to practical learning while still studying at school
  • you'll learn and develop skills that employers want

Foundation Apprenticeships in NHSScotland

Aimee is doing her Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills at Moray College UHI, with her work placement at Dr Dray's Hospital, NHS Grampian. Watch the video to find out about Aimee's experience. Also hear from Douglas Andrew, Learning and Development Manager. Douglas explains the benefits of Foundation Apprenticeships to the health service in Scotland.

What to Expect

In the NHS, Foundation Apprenticeships are delivered by your local college, in partnership with an NHS employer.

A Foundation Apprenticeship takes two years to complete. In the first year, you may spend part of your week attending college over the full school year. You'll spend time out of school, at your work placement, in the second year. Some Foundation Apprentices attend college and their NHSScotland work placement on a day release basis over two years.

Examples of some of the Foundation Apprenticeships appropriate to NHSScotland and types of jobs they can lead to are:

Social Services and Healthcare

Social Services and Young People

Business Skills

Creative and Digital Media


Software Development

Scientific Technologies

  • Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA)

All of the above Foundation Apprenticeships can lead to a Modern Apprenticeship and most can lead to a Graduate Apprenticeship. Contact your local college or university for more information. You can also visit the Skills Development Scotland and websites for more information about Foundation Apprenticeships.