Foundation Apprenticeship - Social Services, Children and Young People


Nursery child playing with bricks



Foundation Apprenticeships are work-based qualifications for senior phase pupils. They combine the best of academic and vocational learning in one single qualification.

Every child deserves the best start in life to grow up happy, healthy and confident. You can help make sure this happens. With this Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of different childcare roles: looking after young children as a nanny, nursery worker or childminder, organising fun activities which help young people build their self esteem as a playworker, giving children and their families vital support as asocial worker.

In Scotland, over 203,000 people work in social services. The number of jobs are still growing, and there are great opportunities for progression, too.

If you enjoy communicating with others and are good at thinking on your feet this could be the career for you.



  • SCQF 6



  • Highland Council Virtual Schools


  • 1-2 Years

Course content...

Our Foundation Apprenticeships can be completed over one or two years depending on your qualifications when you begin the course.

If you wish to apply for this course to be completed in one year, you will need to demonstrate a commitment and the ability to complete both the study and the work experience required within the year.  You should discuss this with your guidance teacher.

Year 1 - Starting in S5, you will complete one year of college led learning to gain a National Progression Award (NPA) in Children and Young People SCQF level 6 whilst making links with your work placement providers.

Year 2 - In S6, you will put your knowledge into practice in a real life work placement setting thus enabling you to continue your learning out of a classroom environment. Over this year, you will study a selection of SVQ 2 Children and Young People units.

If you are studying for this qualification in one year, then both the NPA and SVQ units will be covered. This will involve timetabled sessions for NPA plus additional time for placement completion.

What next...

On completion of the Foundation Apprenticeship, you will be able to move into employment in children’s services.

With your industry skills set and knowledge of local employer’s requirements, there is a huge range of different career opportunities within the day care of children services. These can include Play worker, nursery practitioner, out of school co-ordinator and nursery and family centre managers. Alternatively you could progress onto HNC or degree levels of study which are offered by West Highland College UHI.

In addition, you will be able to work towards registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).


Entry requirements...

You will need to have 3 passes at National 5.

Ideally one should be a literarysubject such as English, geography or psychology. You will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the early years, childcare and playwork sector and have an interest in working in this sector.

You will be required to undertake a PVG check before being permittedto work with vulnerable groups. Any experience in this sector will be considered and each application will be considered on a case by case basis supported by a satisfactory reference and interview.