Apprenticeships in Scotland (The ultimate guide)

Scotland is full of beautiful lochs, bagpipes and lots of tartan, but did you know the country also has a thriving apprenticeship scene?

There’s an apprenticeship to help you get your dream career in every industry under the sun. The big question is, where can you find them?

Let’s break down everything you need to know about finding an apprenticeship in the home of haggis.  

Differences between apprenticeships in Scotland and England

The main difference between apprenticeships in Scotland and England is that the Scottish education system splits apprenticeships into three categories. These are:

Foundation Apprenticeship (SCQF level 4, 5 and 6)

Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers. If you’re in your 5th or 6th year of school but you want to gain some workplace experience, a Foundation Apprenticeship is the perfect opportunity for you. You’ll earn skills that are relevant to the real world of work, and the FA will look great on your application for further apprenticeships and jobs. 

There are Foundation Apprenticeships in a range of subjects including:

Modern Apprenticeship (Any level, although they’re mainly level 6, 7 and 8)

92% of Modern Apprenticeship graduates stay in work after they’re qualified, which proves how valuable MA skills and experience can be. You’ll need to be 16+ to start an MA and there’s no age limit, meaning you can begin the programme at a time that suits you. 

There are over 100 difference Modern Apprenticeships available, such as:

Graduate Apprenticeship (SCQF level 9, 10 and 11) 

Not sure whether to get a degree or start earning? Do both with a Graduate Apprenticeship. You’ll earn a full Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in your chosen subject – yes, a full degree without going to university. A GA usually takes between two and five years to complete, depending on the level of education. 

Some of the courses on offer include:

Where can you find an apprenticeship in Scotland?

We take it upon ourselves to round up the best apprenticeships across the UK, so a great place to start would be on our very own search page. The best place to start is by searching on the Apprenticeships.Scot website, asking your teachers (especially if you’re still in school and looking for an FA) or contacting local businesses that might offer apprenticeship programmes. Here are some of the most in-demand schemes available now:

BAE Systems

Aerospace and defence contractor BAE Systems have an excellent apprenticeship program, with several roles, from level 2 all the way to degree apprenticeships, based in their Glasgow site.

Arnold Clark

Popular car dealership Arnold Clarke offers an Aftersales Customer Advisor course that’s a level 6 Modern Apprenticeship. It’s based in Glasgow, and you’ll earn a great wage of over £14k. They also have multiple opportunities in mechanical engineering. 

Score Group

Engineering and manufacturing business Score Group’s Stores and Logistics Apprenticeship is also a level 6 MA. You’ll take home over £9k a year during the four-year programme while learning about warehousing logistics, transport operations and more. 


Ever wanted to work in aerospace? Now’s your chance with Leonardo’s Design Engineer Graduate Apprenticeship. Over four years you’ll gain a BEng (Hons) in Engineering: Design and Manufacture, as well as enjoying over £20k per year. 


Running one of the most popular supermarkets in the UK takes a team of expert business minds, which is why Morrisons trains people up through their Retail Degree Apprenticeship. After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Business Management, you can step straight into a store manager role. 

Where can an apprenticeship take you?

The skills and experience you’ll gain will prepare you for the real world of work, and you’ll be ready to step straight into your dream profession. If you’re interested in further training, you can progress from a Foundation Apprenticeship to Modern and Graduate programmes. 

No matter which apprenticeship you choose, you’ll earn UCAS points that will strengthen your university application if that’s the route you’re interested in pursuing. You could even continue your studies at college and complete a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) in a vocational subject. 

Entry requirements

Although you don’t need any qualifications to start a Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll need at least an N5 in English and Maths to begin a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship. 

But it’s not all about your academic prowess. Apprenticeship providers will consider other factors such as your interpersonal, organisation and time management skills. For example, an apprenticeship in customer service will require you to be friendly and confident, whereas you’ll need to show off your analytical capabilities if you do a mechanical engineering course. 

If you’re unsure what the apprenticeship provider expects of you, just ask them. 

Apprenticeships: Taking you to employment and beyond

Although it’s extremely important to focus on your school studies, modern day employers expect to see more from you than just your education certificates. They want to see how your personality and skills transfer to the real world, and how you can contribute to their business. Thankfully, an apprenticeship can give you the tools you need to thrive in your chosen industry, and you’ll develop a detailed portfolio that you can use to show future employers why you’re right for the job. 

Kickstart your career with an apprenticeship today.