New qualifications on offer to boost career prospects for young Fifers

Archived news: published on Tuesday 30 May 2017 by Fife Council

Young people across Fife are being invited to apply for Foundation Apprenticeships that offer high school pupils the opportunity gain valuable hands-on industry experience with an employer. Although there is a rolling entrance scheme, budding apprentices are being urged to apply now, with some programmes starting in June.


These programmes are a great way for S4, S5 or S6 pupils to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace, developing their skills as they learn. These two-year vocational qualifications combine sector-specific skills with the knowledge that underpins these skills in a workplace setting while still at school.


Foundation Apprenticeships are taken alongside other qualifications, such as National 5s or Highers, as one of their subject choices.


They offer work-based learning and industry recognised qualifications set at SCQF level 6, the same level of learning as a Higher. Many universities are now building the Foundation Apprenticeship qualification into their entry criteria.


Foundation Apprenticeships offer young people the chance to broaden their options and get a taste of their potential career before they’ve left school. A Foundation Apprenticeship, allows young people to:

  • have the option to apply for accelerated entry to a Modern Apprenticeship or entry onto a Graduate Level Apprenticeship
  • progress to HNC / HND level and beyond
  • make their application and personal statement for college or university stand out from the crowd
  • form industry contacts and build a professional network to improve career prospects


Derek Brown, Fife Council’s Head of Education, said: “Part academic, part hands-on, a Foundation Apprenticeship is an attractive mix. These are fairly new qualifications, so many parents and young people are still unaware that there are opportunities across all sectors, and of the benefits.


“The world of work is tough out there, and a CV that has work experience and a formal academic qualification on it as well is a big advantage. For many pupils and parents, the decisions around subject choice and, and weighing up the pros and cons of different qualifications can be tricky. Foundation Apprenticeships enhance the academic programme offered by our schools, and help prepare young people for the world of work and a positive future.


“I’m encouraging all parents to take another look at apprenticeships, and to consider FAs as a very valuable qualification. Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed with employers to address skills gaps in key growth sectors – so the qualification is available for careers where there is a high demand for workers. This means that your child would enter a career pathway where there is a real future.


“If you think a Foundation Apprenticeship might help your teenager to get a head start in their career, please encourage them to speak to their guidance teacher or school’s careers adviser."


Alternatively, contact Fife's Developing the Young Workforce team, email: or visit


Foundation Apprenticeship subjects include:  Business Skills, Civil Engineering, Creative Digital Media, Engineering, Financial Services, IT Hardware, IT Software, Scientific Technologies (Laboratory Skills), Social Services - Children and Young People, Social Services – Healthcare.


Over £1 million has been awarded to Fife Council and Fife College by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to run a programme of Foundation Apprenticeships for local young people over the next two years.

Ray Fernie, Employability Co-ordinator 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 43 24 Contact Ray Fernie online
By Post: Rothesay House Rothesay Place Glenrothes Fife KY7 5PQ

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