Following your own path this National Apprenticeship Week

Today marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week (3–9 February). If you’re not sure about what you want to do when you leave school, now is a great time to research a different option, that enables you to earn while you learn.


You may have heard the word floating around the corridors at school, but what actually is an apprenticeship?

Well, an apprenticeship combines the opportunity to learn and gain practical work experience in an industry that you want to learn more about.

While on your apprenticeship, you’ll be employed to do a job and will earn at least the National Minimum Wage during your employment. Alongside your employment, you’ll usually complete about one day a week of education, usually in college.

Apprenticeships take between one and six years to complete, depending on the type and your role, but by the end, you’ll have a nationally recognised qualification, and the skills needed to progress within your chosen industry.


There are a few different types of apprenticeship, so you can decide what works best for you:

  • FOUNDATION APPRENTICESHIP – If you want to get a head start, you can complete a foundation apprenticeship as one of your Higher subjects. Completing an apprenticeship while still at school will give you a taste for it, and help you understand if you want to progress into a further apprenticeship when you leave school, or whether you want to go into further education, or straight into the workplace.
  • GRADUATE APPRENTICESHIP – With a graduate apprenticeship, you can combine further education with work experience, and complete it alongside a degree. You’ll complete your studies with a university or college part-time, while gaining the necessary industry skills through practical work.
  • MODERN APPRENTICESHIP – If you’re over 16, you’re able to start a modern apprenticeship in a variety of industries. From science and engineering, to business management and tourism, the opportunities to gain industry experience are endless.


There are plenty of benefits of completing an apprenticeship, the main being that you can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the industry. The practical work experience gained, as well as your formal education, will make you an attractive candidate to potential employers – and the fact that you can earn on the job is the cherry on top.

College and university isn’t for everyone, and if you don’t quite feel ready to enter the world of work, or aren’t sure what you want to do when you leave school, then an apprenticeship could be for you.

So, head to Apprenticeships Scotland, to find out about the opportunities available near you, and to discover the apprenticeship for you.

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