Who is it for?

Foundation Apprenticeships are for any business looking to improve their skills pipeline. They are available across key sectors in the following subjects:

Where selected in bold are the Foundation Apprenticeships available locally through West Highland College; Sabhal Mòr Ostaig also offer a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services – Children and Young People, and is delivered entirely through the medium of Gaelic.

In particular, Foundation Apprenticeships are for any business who may be considering:

  • Succession planning in response to an ageing workforce
  • How to fill skills gaps
  • How to better recruit and retain specialist skills
  • How to better engage in new technologies such as social media
  • How to reduce recruitment costs

How does it work?

Young people spend time gaining work experience in your business as part of their studies in S5 and S6. They’ll undertake real projects for your business, designed to supplement school studies with real world experience. This will be coordinated by the learning provider, who’ll also provide training to support the work experience as the young person works towards a qualification at the same level of learning as a Higher. As the young person is still at school there are no associated salary costs, plus Skills Development Scotland (SDS) pays all training costs.

Key features

  • Industry led: Foundation Apprenticeships are specifically designed by employers like you.
  • Tailored to your business: Foundation Apprentices work on real projects with your staff.
  • Free to access: Skills Development Scotland pays all the training costs.
  • Easy to access: West Highland College will facilitate your programme and be on hand every step of the way.
  • Developing the Young Workforce: support the skills your industry needs in your community.


  • Increase motivation of your current staff by working with young people.
  • Reduce recruitment costs by accessing a brand new talent pipeline of skills for your business.
  • Retain skills in your business by enabling succession planning for an ageing workforce.
  • Gain new skills and fresh thinking by accessing a new generation of fresh talent.
  • Spot talent early by working with young people before they leave school.
  • Fast-track your talent development: Young people get to know your business, so if you choose to recruit, they can come in with a useful working knowledge.
  • Apprentices can be more productive quicker: Foundation Apprentices who become Modern Apprentices will be more productive more quickly.

Benefits (Emotional)

  • Support local young people by providing real world experience that school and academic learning can’t provide.
  • Build community connections by working with local schools and colleges to support young people’s development.
  • Provide the first step for a young person towards a career in your industry
  • Supply the talent pipeline for the future of your business and the future of your industry.

How do you get involved?

If you would like to know more about supporting a young person in the West Highlands through a Foundation Apprenticeship, then we would love to hear from you.

T: 01397 705 765

E: [email protected]

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Call in and see us at:
15 High Street
Fort William
PH33 6DH