Modern Apprenticeship FAQs

What is a Modern Apprenticeship?

A modern apprenticeship is a programme that involves working and learning at the same time. You would be working full time hours as well as studying towards qualifications at college. For example you might work Monday-Thursday and then be in college every Friday. You earn money, train towards a career and gain qualifications

How do I get into a Modern Apprenticeship?

There are two ways to get an apprenticeship:

    Approach a company directly to see if they are looking to take on any apprentices
    Apply to apprenticeship vacancy that a company/training organisation has advertised

Where can I look for apprenticeship vacancies? advertises apprenticeships all across the country in different career areas
    Forth Valley College recruit apprentices on behalf of a range of local companies. They advertise these on their website throughout the year across a range of career areas- visit the apprenticeship section of for more info
    Falkirk Council recruit apprentices every year. They should advertise vacancies around April/May 2015 for positions starting in August/September 2015. You can register interest in Falkirk Council MA opportunities by visiting and filling in an online form
    Starting on an Employability Fund Stage3/4 programme with Falkirk Council or Forth Valley College- Skills Development Scotland careers advisers can refer young people(depending on age/ eligibility criteria) to the Employability Fund fulltime work experience programme, which can sometimes lead to apprenticeship opportunities
The job search tool on
Search for ‘apprenticeships’ on
advertise apprenticeships across Scotland
    Adverts in national and local papers- the Falkirk Herald advertises job vacancies every Thursday
    Ask family and friends if they know about any opportunities.  Around 70-75% of jobs are never advertised, so it is important to target the hidden job market
    Approaching companies that you would like to work for is another method. Contact them to enquire if they are taking anyone on and to see of they will take a copy of your CV- its recommended that you do this in person if possible

What qualifications will I be working towards?

Modern apprenticeship qualifications consist of Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at either Levels 2, 3 or 4 which will relate directly to the specific job or industry sector. These will be assessed on your skills whilst you are working. In some cases you may attend college as a part of an apprenticeship programme. Some apprentices may also complete relevant qualifications in their field at HNC, HND or even Degree Level.

Visit for more information on the different types of Modern Apprenticeships available in Scotland

When is the best time to apply?

It is possible to start an apprenticeship at any time of the year, but the main recruitment period for most apprenticeships is from January to April as most MA programmes begin in August

What do I need when I apply?

 You need to be at least 16 when you start an apprenticeship
You will need a National Insurance Number (this comes in a letter around 2 months before you turn 16- make sure you keep it somewhere safe!)
They might ask you to fill in a form, so having a good personal statement helps
CV (you can use the CV builder on to create a CV)
 A cover letter (there are cover letter templates and articles available on

How long do apprenticeships last?

This can vary depending on the sector and level of the apprenticeship. Generally speaking, apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.

Will I get holidays?

Yes- apprentices are entitled to at least 20 days of paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays

What qualifications will I need?

Some industries want apprentices who already have Standard Grades at general level/Intermediate 1/National 4 grades or above whilst other employers don’t ask for any formal qualifications at all. Some employers may ask for previous experience in certain industries. It's worth looking at the individual types of apprenticeship to find out if any qualifications or experience is required.

It's important to note that you might need to sit an aptitude test when applying for a Modern Apprenticeship. See your careers adviser for more information on what to expect from an aptitude test

How far can I go with a modern apprenticeship?

After completing a Modern Apprenticeship to SVQ Level 3 (SCQF 6/7) you can then progress to a Technical Apprenticeship at SCQF 8 or 9. This is at the same level as an HND or an Ordinary Degree. This could then lead on to a Professional Apprenticeship at SCQF 10 or above, the same level as a Masters Degree

What happens next?

This can vary depending on the company you are applying to. In general candidates are asked to sit an aptitude test and then if they pass they will be invited in for an interview.

Visit the My Interview section of My World of Work for an interview practice activity