An Introduction to Foundation Apprenticeships

Throughout this blog, you’ll likely hear the term ‘Foundation Apprenticeship’ come up a lot, and you may wonder, ‘what on earth is a Foundation Apprenticeship? If that’s the case, then this is the post for you, so keep reading to learn all about the wonderful world of Foundation Apprenticeships in East Lothian!

Foundation Apprenticeships allow Secondary School students in S4 to S6 gain experience in a work environment while they are still attending school. They can work towards an industry recognised qualification, undergoing a mix of traditional classroom teaching, and real-world workplace experiences. At the end of the apprenticeship, students can gain an award at SCQF Level 6 – the equivalent to a Higher – which can be beneficial when applying for college, university, employment, further training, or for a Modern Apprenticeship. They are particularly beneficial as they allow students to gain invaluable experience in the workplace, something that employers are actively seeking at the moment.

Foundation Apprenticeships are two year programmes, starting in either S4 or S5. In East Lothian, they are available in a range of subjects:

  • Financial Services – Students gain an understanding of the processes required to succeed in the financial sector by enhancing personal finance awareness, business finance, and customer relationship skills.
  • Social Services: Children and Young People – Students learn the skills required for a career in childcare and social services through learning about the safeguarding of children, as well as how to develop and play with young people.
  • Scientific Technologies – Students gain an understanding of science theories and learn about the fundamentals of science. They also have the opportunity to carry out scientific tests within a laboratory setting.

Excitingly, starting next year, we have three new apprenticeships that may be added to the roster:

  • Social Services and Healthcare – Students gain an overview of social services, safeguarding young people, communication in care, as well as human development and social influences.
  • Business Skills – Students are provided with the opportunity to learn about management and business priorities, such as IT software, managing people and finance, contemporary business issues, and performance management.
  • Accountancy – Students gain an understanding and overview of recording financial information and book keeping, indirect tax, analysing accounting information, and management accounting.

Foundation Apprenticeships can help young people gain confidence, due to experiencing a new environment with new people, and perhaps finding a real passion for the subject. They can also gain essential experience of being in a workplace, which is greatly beneficial when it comes to applying for jobs in the near future. The students on Foundation Apprenticeships gain close links with local employers, forming good relationships with those who contribute to the local economy and community.

So what now? If this sounds of interest to you as a student, speak to your guidance teacher for more information and an application form, or if you have any questions, email We will be posting regular content about Foundation Apprenticeships on this space, so make sure to keep checking in for more news and information.

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