Apprenticeships in Edinburgh

Previous winner of the UK’s friendliest city, Edinburgh is also a major player across several business sectors. An enticing blend of history and heritage and contemporary cosmopolitan, Edinburgh is a highly-ranked financial centre. Other prominent sectors include education, entertainment, leisure and tourism, biotechnology, construction, transport, and whiskey manufacturing.

Careers in Edinburgh

Many global companies are headquartered or have a significant presence in Edinburgh, including EY, Deloitte, NatWest Group and PwC. With such companies and many more employing 1000s of people, Edinburgh offers many career opportunities. 

Edinburgh apprenticeships (and all UK apprenticeships) are funded equally by the Government and your employer. Apprentices are also guaranteed to earn a fair wage and potentially significantly more, depending on the employer. 

So, not only will your basic living expenses be covered by your wages, but you won’t have to worry about paying for your degree or paying back student loans.

During your apprenticeship, you will work towards a degree or similar qualification. Your learning will be facilitated with hands-on training and in-classroom study.

The outcome of a successful apprenticeship can vary. You may find that you are welcomed into a permanent position at the company. There may not always be a suitable vacancy at your employer company at the time. In this case, you should be able to graduate and leave the company with excellent job prospects. Equally, you may take up an opportunity at a different company.

But what if you gained qualifications in one field and now want to branch out or change tack? That’s where adult apprenticeships come in. On an adult apprenticeship, you can retrain or upskill, allowing you to change jobs or enter a new phase in your career.

Let’s dive in to find out more about apprenticeships in Edinburgh and the wealth of career opportunities available in Scotland’s Capital city.

Top employers in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a world-leading financial centre that offers opportunities in tourism, leisure, education, entertainment, Whiskey manufacturing, biotechnology, and construction. Edinburgh’s best apprenticeship employers include: 

BBC Careers
Software Engineering Apprenticeships

Living and working in Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, is located in the southeast of the country. The population of around 542,000 has seen a slight increase in recent years.

A beautiful city, rich in history and heritage,  Edinburgh also boasts the title of ‘best small city of the future.’

It’s a coastal city, with stunning views, particularly from Edinburgh Castle, nestled in the extinct volcano of Castle Rock. Other well-known attractions include Edinburgh Zoo and Holyrood Park, which incorporates Arthurs Seat – a 640-acre park close to Holyrood Palace. 

The Scottish National Gallery, the Dynamic Earth Museum, and the uncanny underground city of The Real Mary Kings Close are also in the city.

Set on the Firth of Forth estuary, Edinburgh is close to several beautiful beaches and offers a great selection of independent and high-street shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants. 

Edinburgh Airport offers flights to hundreds of destinations, and you can reach London in a couple of hours by rail or road. 

The city ranks as the fourth largest financial centre in Europe and the thirteenth largest in the world.

Unsurprisingly, major industries include banking and financial services. Other prominent sectors include biotechnology, construction, transport, education, entertainment and leisure, tourism, and whisky!

Degree apprenticeships in Edinburgh

Just like in England and Wales, every Scotland-based company that wishes to run an apprenticeship programme must partner with a reputable university in the area. 

Of the seven universities in Scotland, five can be found in Edinburgh: The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University, Queen Margaret University, and Scotland’s Rural College University.

These highly-regarded institutions offer many exciting apprenticeship programmes, studying everything from aerospace engineering and cybersecurity to lab work, accounting, administration, and landscaping.

If you’re interested and think you meet the criteria, you can apply for an Edinburgh apprenticeship through the university or the partnership employer.

Industry spotlight

Finance Apprenticeships

Are you good with numbers? Do you enjoy getting fiscal? Then a finance apprenticeship could be right up your street. Edinburgh is one of Europe’s top financial centres and is home to large financial organisations such as PwC, NatWest Group, Deloitte, and EY, to name a few. There are also financial roles in almost every successful business, so the opportunities for finance apprentices are endless. Apprenticeships under this banner include accounting, auditing, and actuarial apprenticeships, banking and stockbroker apprenticeships, and financial advisor placements.

Find out more

Tourism Apprenticeships

Tourism is a massive industry, contributing around £1.5bn annually to the city’s economy, and providing 35,000 jobs. Edinburgh was named the UK’s most eco-friendly tourism destination based on the number of green-certified hotels, vegan restaurants, bicycle tours, and nature attractions. This kind of innovative and conscious planning is making a buzz in the tourism industry. A travel and tourism apprenticeship can help you master the skills to help Edinburgh to continue its proud legacy of eco, visitor and resident-friendly tourism.

Leisure & Hospitality Apprenticeships

Not a dismissal to tourism, but more individual business-focused, a hospitality apprenticeship can open up many exciting career opportunities for you. Hospitality apprentices learn transferable skills, including customer service, business management, and attention to detail. Potential careers in hospitality include professional chef, beer brewer (or Whiskey manufacturer), hotel management and more.

Find out more

Kickstart your career

Why choose an apprenticeship?

Make a Fair Wage 

Since every UK apprenticeship is backed by the apprentice minimum wage scheme,  you will earn at least the minimum wage for your age group, regardless of role or industry. Not only will you be able to pay basic living expenses, but you’ll have the satisfaction of being fairly compensated for your work. It’s fairly common for certain employers to offer a much higher wage to secure their preferred candidates.

Get a Free Degree 

All UK degree apprenticeships are paid for jointly by the UK Government and your employer, so there are no student loans for you to worry about. If all goes to plan, you will earn your degree qualification and graduate debt-free, ready to move forward in your chosen career.

Gain a Mentor

Another aspect of an apprenticeship that many find beneficial is the chance to learn from mentors. You will be taught to perform the tasks necessary for your job in a real working environment. You will also back up these skills with knowledge-based in-classroom learning and regular assessments. Having a mentor, whether within the company or through networking can help you to put your best foot forward. Networking to increase your industry contacts is also part of your programme.

Level Up

UK apprenticeships fall into four levels – Intermediate, Advanced, Higher, and Degree. Each level relates to a different classification of learning and will determine the basic entry requirements. Each apprenticeship may differ slightly, so always read all the available information carefully. Every qualification you gain represents an increase in your desirability as an employee and, often, higher wages.

More Apprenticeships Developed 

A collective effort to close the ever-growing skills gap in the UK, a government push, and incentives to businesses, such as the apprentice levy, have led to more apprenticeship programmes being developed than ever before. It’s not just the number that has increased either. You can now find apprenticeships in much more diverse roles and industries.

Find Your Ideal Apprenticeship 

With Edinburgh apprenticeships covering such diverse industries as financial services and biotechnology you should be able to find the programme you are looking for. 

Don’t worry if you aren’t completely sure what that is, though.  We’ve created a best industry apprenticeships page to help you find out the options available related to your interests and talents.

Take a look around, and please, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.