A Modern Apprenticeship is a job combined with part time training. You work towards a recognised qualification, usually a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at SCQF Levels 5 through to 9.
Modern Apprenticeships are aimed at people aged 16 and over. You can train in over 80 different types of Modern Apprenticeship, from plastering or hairdressing, to IT and telecommunications or creative and digital media. But not all types of apprenticeships are available in every area.
Most apprentices train for 2-4 years. Training usually has three parts:
- part time study or training (at college or training centre)
- work-based assessments
- practical experience on the job.
You develop a Training Plan with your employer and training provider, and your progress is reviewed regularly. A training provider can be a college, a training company or an industry-based organisation – like CITB, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry.
Will I get paid?
Yes! You're an employee from day one of your training. You usually get the going rate for the job.
The starting salary for a Modern Apprentice is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW), but some employers may offer a higher salary. At present the apprentice rate, for those aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship, is £4.30 an hour (1 April 2021).
Do I need qualifications to get in to a Modern Apprenticeship?
It depends on the industry and level of job you go into. Most Modern Apprenticeships don't need formal qualifications, but some do.
- For example, if you are aiming at a craft level Modern Apprenticeship in engineering you will probably need a group of subjects at National 4 or 5, including English, Maths and a science subject.
- For a technician level Modern Apprenticeship, you may need relevant Highers.
- You may be asked to sit selection or aptitude tests before you are offered a job. This is typical for construction, engineering and garage-related apprenticeships.
When can I apply?
Most employers and training providers don't have a set recruitment time.
- They look for apprentices throughout the year as vacancies come up.
- But, some industries or sectors do the bulk of their recruitment at a specific time of year.
- Some big engineering firms start to accept applications in January, and have closing dates as early as the end of February or March for apprenticeships starting in August.
- So, speak to your careers adviser about when you should start contacting employers, and training providers.
How do I get involved?
- speak to your careers adviser or pastoral care teacher if you are still at school
- contact Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on 0800 917 8000
- get in touch with your local SDS Careers Centre
- apply direct through SDS Modern Apprenticeships or earlycareers.scot
- apply through the Jobcentre Plus – although many smaller employers advertise in local newspapers or recruit by word of mouth.
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