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Employment and training

​Young learners in the senior phase of their education (S4-S6) at school will be able to access a range of opportunities and experiences that will help them develop skills for life, learning and work. These experiences will help them make choices on their chosen career pathway. For some, this will be into employment once they have reached the school leaving age.

Foundation Apprenticeships

The Scottish Government's Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) strategy​ is helping young people to develop work-related skills as they prepare to leave school.

While at school, young people can take part in Foundation Apprenticeships (FA). These programmes are equivalent to two Higher grades and almost all Scottish universities accept them for entry through University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS).

Participants normally follow a programme over two years in the senior phase, in which they will attend college and also take part in an extended work placement.

For young people, it is the chance to get a head start on their careers by gaining an industry-recognised qualification and working on real life industry projects. Importantly, their experiences will help to broaden their career options when they leave school. Employers view the programme as an opportunity to attract and select highly motivated and committed young people who are willing to learn and develop into candidates for roles in their company.

​There are currently programmes in accountancy, business skills, civil engineering, creative and digital media, engineering, financial services, food and drink technologies, hardware and system support, scientific technologies, social services- children and young people, software development and social services and healthcare.

Further information can be found on the apprentice​ships page of the my world of work website.​

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to gain skills while working – ‘earning while learning’. Each year, over 26,000 people start a Modern Apprenticeship, combining a qualification with on-the-job experience and skills development.

Employers who have taken on Modern Apprentices are positive about the experience. For example, 96 per cent say those staff who have taken on a Modern Apprenticeship are more able to do their job. They also praised MAs for improving productivity, staff morale, and service and product quality. Modern Apprentices are also enthusiastic about their achievements, with 97 per cent recommending an MA to other people.

Whether a young person is still in school or looking at their options once they leave, a Modern Apprenticeship could be for them. There is a wide variety of apprenticeships available and many of them are in sectors where there is a real shortage of suitably skilled workers.

  • 'My World of Work' has information on apprenticeships, and how to apply.
  • Further information about Modern Apprenticeships can also be found on t​he Apprenciship.scot website.​
  • MappIt is an interactive web programme to help pupils, school leavers and their parents search and apply for Modern Apprenticeship vacancies.

Activity Agreements

Activity Agreements are for those young people who may not, without additional support, make a successful transition to work, further education or training. They are often delivered by community learning and development partnerships within a local authority area.

Workers, often youth workers, are skilled at engaging with young people and working with them to develop learning solutions that are tailored to each individual and that enable young people to progress towards other post-16 opportunities.

North Lanarkshire Council has created a young people's website explaining how Activity Agreements work and what benefits there are in signing up.

Related links

My World of Work for parents
Information to help you support your child in making choices about their future.

PlanIt Plus
Essential information about subject choices at school and choosing a career. PlanIt Plus has over 600 job profiles and details of colleges, universities and courses around Scotland.

Apprenticeships in a Nutshell​​
Information from the National Parent Forum of Scotland.

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