Apprenticeships: understanding applications

After you’ve decided to undertake an apprenticeship the next step is applying. The process is different for each type of apprenticeship: but don’t stress, we’re taking the confusion out of the application process.


Before you start your apprenticeship application it is important to do your research. Firstly, find out what type of apprenticeship is right for you: foundation, modern or graduate.

Check any entry requirements and specific details – like age, previous qualifications and location – so that you don’t waste time applying for an apprenticeship that you can’t actually do. Think about how you’ll get to and from your apprenticeship and if the hours are right for you.

Make sure you know what you’re signing up for: you’ve triple-checked the apprenticeship description and what tasks you will be expected to carry out. This ensures you have the knowledge base you need to succeed and won’t be stuck completing an apprenticeship you don’t like.


A foundation apprenticeship is the easiest type to apply for. There’re 12 areas to choose an apprenticeship from and you’ll complete it while you’re still at school. But, your school and its location are key to your foundation apprenticeship options.

There’s no guarantee that a foundation apprenticeship will be available in all 12 areas at your school. To find out what is available, use the Apprenticeships.Scot search tool or talk to your school’s careers advisor.

Once you know what you can, and want to, apply for, different people at your school will be able to help you through the application process – normally a careers advisor, guidance teacher or the teacher of a subject that relates to the apprenticeship can lend a helping hand.


If you’re embarking on a modern or graduate apprenticeship the application process is a little different. You might still be able to ask for help from a careers advisor or teacher if you are about to finish school, but you’ll have to find and apply for the apprenticeship yourself.

With modern apprenticeships available in over 80 different subjects and more being added all of the time, there’s plenty to choose from. It’s also more likely that there will be an apprenticeship you can get excited about in your area.

There are 12 different types of graduate apprenticeship available in conjunction with specific universities throughout the UK.

The application process for a modern or graduate apprenticeship is similar to any other job application. You’ll have to fill out an application form for the employer and then you could get asked to attend an interview. You could also be asked to complete practical or written tests to make sure you have the right skillset and knowledge for your chosen apprenticeship.

Skills Development Scotland can provide guidance on how to apply for your apprenticeship.

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