Borders College

Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships from Borders College

SCQF Level 4 or 5 (1 year)

  • Automotive Skills SCQF Level 4
  • Construction Level 4
  • Hospitality Skills - Level 4
  • Hospitality Skills - Level 5 

SCQF Level 6 (1 year)

  • Civil Engineering - Fast-track 
  • Social Services: Children and Young People - Fast-track 
  • Social Services and Healthcare Foundation Apprenticeship - Fast-track
  • Software Development - Fast-track 

SCQF Level 6 (2 years)

  • Accountancy
  • Business Skills

Click here to see full details of the course above*.
*Filter the course types you would like to see.

What is a Foundation Apprenticeship?


What is it?

A Foundation Apprenticeship is a new type of apprenticeship that helps you get qualified through work experience and work-based learning. Usually you take it as one of your S5 subject choices and work towards a qualification over 1 or 2 years. It’s the same qualification level as a Higher, but unlike your other subjects, your Foundation Apprenticeship takes you out of the classroom and gets you working on real projects with a real business. You spend time at school and get training with an employer and with a local learning provider.

A Foundation Apprenticeship gives you the combination of a qualification and valuable work place experience in some of Scotland’s most exciting industries, all with projected growth in jobs. 

Who is it for?

Foundation Apprenticeships are for pupils making decisions about which subjects they’ll study in S5 and S6. In general they are suited to pupils who:

  • Are capable of working at SCQF Level 6 – the same level of learning as a Higher
  • Want to try an alternative way to learn, not just in the classroom
  • Have an interest in developing greater awareness of a specific industry with an aspiration of pursuing a career in that area.

Whether you want to go to university or college, do an Apprenticeship or go straight into work, a Foundation Apprenticeship can help.

  • Going to university or college? Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised by all of Scotland’s universities and colleges as the same level of qualification as a Higher. What’s more, industry experience will help your application stand out.
  • Thinking about an Apprenticeship? A Foundation Apprenticeship is a great stepping stone on to a Modern Apprenticeship or Graduate Apprenticeship.
  • Headed straight to work? A Foundation Apprenticeship gives you the specific skills an employer is looking for in their industry plus more general ones like problem solving, communication and teamwork. You’ll also be able to show qualities employers are looking for, like good time keeping and a positive attitude.

    Foundation Apprenticeships: Get work experience, get qualified


 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:

  • Accountancy
  • Business Skills
  • Children and Young People
  • Civil Engineering
  • Creative and Digital Media
  • Social Services and Healthcare
  • Software Development

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 a local 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.  

How do I get involved?

First, register your interest at:

One of our Foundation Apprenticeship experts will then get in touch to offer advice and support to help get your started.

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: SDS pays all the training costs
  • Easy to access: your local learning provider 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.


  • 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.

    Foundation Apprenticeships: Shape the new generation of talent your business needs.

My Kid's Career - Smart choices, bright futures - from SDS

Stay up-to-date with the sectors that are set to grow. We've highlighted some industries that are on the rise, to help you explore where they could go.  You'll find details on the vacancies advertised over the past 12 months, and details on the salaries associated with these roles.

Skills Development Scotland, with the support of the European Social Fund, has developed Foundation Apprenticeships which enable pupils in S4 to S6 to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship while still at school.


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