Foundation Apprenticeships

Created in the Highlands for Highland pupils and employers

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?

A Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) allows pupils in S5 and S6 to gain work experience and a qualification whilst still at school.

Foundation Apprenticeships Highlands

It is a three-way relationship:
Secondary Schools in the Highlands can offer these Foundation Apprenticeship programmes to their pupils who may choose to sign up
The Training Provider (VLA) writes and delivers the programme including finding work placements. Pupils will have a tutor to support them through the programme
The Employer takes on a pupil on work experience relevant to the FA being studied – this is usually one day a week. Pupils will have a workplace mentor

What are the benefits of Foundation Apprenticeships?

For the School

Programmes are delivered within teaching time at no cost to the schools. Takes pressure away from limited teaching resources.

For the Pupils

Explore industries and areas of work which take their interest. Gain valuable work ready skills and a qualification. Bridges the gap between school and the workplace. Pupils may gain permanent employment.

For the Training Provider

Provides a beginning pipeline of candidates to move from Foundation Apprenticeships into Modern Apprenticeships.

For the Employer

Employers are provided with an enthusiastic pupil who is keen to learn and take on tasks for them at no cost. Pupils are trained by the training provider and supported

Foundation Apprenticeships provide work-based learning opportunities for young people, supporting skills demands from employers and creating pathways into critical occupations for the Scottish economy. 

Taken over one or two years by senior phase school pupils alongside Nationals and Highers, completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship leads to a qualification at the same level as a Higher.

Recognised by all Scottish universities and colleges, Foundation Apprenticeships support progression on to a job, such as a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship, or on to further and higher education.

 Skills Development Scotland Director of Critical Skills and Occupations, Diane Greenlees said:

Foundation Apprenticeships continue to be embedded in the education and skills system, creating increasingly valuable and essential work-based learning pathways for pupils.

Skills Development Scotland is committed to working with partners to ensure that pupils get access to high quality work-based learning opportunities to help bring schools and employers closer together.”

Foundation Apprenticeships with Virtual Learning Academy

From June 2020 we will be offering two foundation apprenticeships to 48 pupils:

  • Cohort 1 will be a 2 year Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills – 12 places
  • Cohort 2 will be a 1 year Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills – 12 places
  • Cohort 3 will be a 2 year Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative & Digital Media – 12 places
  • Cohort 4 will be a 1 year Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative & Digital Media – 12 places
Virtual Learning Academy - Foundation Apprenticeships

The Programmes

Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative & Digital Media

This programme can be undertaken in one or two years. It includes pupils undertaking the following:

NPA Elements – this is the learning content elements which consists of candidates undertaking four units in class time.

Units are:
⦁ An Introduction to Creative Industries
⦁ Storytelling for the Creative Industries
⦁ Understanding a Creative Brief
⦁ Media; Understanding the Creative Process These are delivered online. The VLA will set these up either on our own LMS or on the Google Classroom used by Highland Council.
Pupils will work through these in hours allocated by the school. They will have a tutor supporting them online.

(if there are enough numbers within one school, we can deliver face to face)

SVQ Elements – these are undertaken in the work experience element which is one day a week.

Units are:
⦁ Work effectively with others
⦁ Ensure your own actions reduce risks to Health & Safety
⦁ Communicating using Digital Marketing
⦁ Use Digital and Social Media in marketing

This will be undertaken within the workplace element of the programme. A tutor will visit to observe performance minimum every three months.

Work Based Project

Media Project
⦁ The employer, tutor and pupil will decide on a digital marketing project for the pupil to undertake This will be undertaken within the workplace element of the programme. A tutor will visit to observe performance minimum every three months.

Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills

This programme can be undertaken in one or two years. It includes pupils undertaking the following:

NPA Elements – this is the learning content elements which consists of candidates undertaking four units in class time.

Units are:
⦁ Understanding Business
⦁ Management of People & Finance
⦁ Word Processing
⦁ Spreadsheets
⦁ Contemporary Business Issues
⦁ Work Placement

These are delivered online. The VLA will set these up either on our own LMS or on the Google Classroom used by Highland Council.
Pupils will work through these in hours allocated by the school. They will have a tutor supporting them online.

(if there are enough numbers within one school, we can deliver face to face)

SVQ Elements – these are undertaken in the work experience element which is one day a week. Units are:
⦁ Plan how to manage and improve own performance in a business environment
⦁ Communicate in a business environment
⦁ Support other people to work in a business environment
⦁ Design and produce documents in a business environment.

This will be undertaken within the workplace element of the programme. A tutor will visit to observe performance minimum every three months.

Pupil Selection Criteria

We will consider all pupils based on motivation and ability to achieve their Foundation Apprenticeship. Below are what we would like to see as minimum entry requirements. Where pupils do not meet these, we will accept recommendations from teachers to support applications.

Business Skills

  • You must already have three passes at National 5
  • You will need to have a high level of motivation and commitment to learn

Creative & Digital Media

  • You must already have three passes at National 5
  • You will need to have a high level of motivation and commitment to learn
Please complete and submit the form below if you are interested in undertaking this qualification.