Foundation Apprenticeships


Mairi MacRae talks about how a Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media led to her dream job

 Mairi MacRae

“I studied the FA Creative and Digital Media while studying at Plockton High School. Taking the course boosted my confidence in my professional skills and confirmed for me that Design was what I wanted to study. It certainly helped me gain unconditional offers for university as it set me apart from my competition.

Following an internship with Edinburgh design agency Wolffe during my third year at university, I was extremely fortunate to be offered my dream job as a Graphic Designer. I’ve started on my career path now and am excited for the future."

Foundation Apprenticeships combine the best of academic and vocational learning in one single qualification.

In S5 or S6, you can do a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your senior subject choices. You'll get the chance to study through your local college and learn in a real workplace where you can develop the new skills future employers need, giving you a competitive edge while you're still at school.

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship? content

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?

A chance to gain industry–recognised qualifications and valuable workplace experience at the same time.

A Foundation Apprenticeship provides a range of benefits that employers are looking for and opens up your options after you leave school.

It normally starts in S5 and takes two years to complete. Some programmes may also be completed in one year if your school timetable allows, depending on the subject and your circumstances. You study Foundation Apprenticeships alongside other subjects.

Parents can find out more in the Apprenticeships in a Nutshell guide by the National Parent Forum of Scotland.

Woman talking with a child

How do they Work? content

How do they Work?

How do they Work?

Foundation Apprenticeships are for pupils making decisions about which subjects they will study in S5 and S6.

You spend time during your school week either attending college or accessing learning online.

In addition to an academic qualification you will also gain work experience in a related business as part of your studies.

You will be involved in work-based projects which are designed to supplement your school studies with real world experience. Plus you'll have the chance to benefit from site visits to businesses and guest speakers from industry.

Boy at a desk with headphones around his neck

What is a work placement?

A work placement is one of the most important aspects of the qualification, as it provides an opportunity to apply your learning with an employer in your chosen sector.

This will vary depending on the course but will often take place in the second year of the Foundation Apprenticeship.

UHI West Highland will organise the work placement with you.

We’ll try hard to get local employers in your chosen industry or area of interest but some travel may be required.

All employers are vetted to ensure they are suitable and meet learner requirements.

Placements are monitored to provide support and guidance throughout.

What are the benefits? content

What are the benefits?

What are the benefits?

A Foundation Apprenticeship will enable you to:

  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Gain hands-on experience
  • Develop useful industry contacts
  • Enjoy a different way to learn

Work-based learning provides the best of both worlds - high quality academic learning, development of skills and work experience.

A Foundation Apprenticeship gives you the chance to try a career out, so you can decide if it’s right for you before you leave school.

It provides accelerated entry onto a Modern Apprenticeship.

You get valuable hands-on experience that future employers want.

A Foundation Apprenticeship gives you more confidence and a chance to learn new skills like team-work and problem-solving.

The Foundation Apprenticeship is recognised by employers, universities and colleges across Scotland and will strengthen your application, personal statement or CV.

Two people looking at a computer monitor

What subjects can I study? content

What subjects can I study?

What subjects can I study?

We deliver these across all schools during the same scheduled sessions in the timetables. Google hangouts enable pupils and staff to easily communicate with each other in the virtual classroom and all are delivered by a UHI West Highland lecturer.