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Become a Modern Apprentice

A Modern Apprenticeship (MA) offers you the opportunity to gain industry-recognised qualifications through a combination of college and work-based training. This allows you to work, earn and learn at the same time.

Why choose a Modern Apprenticeship?

You must be employed to enrol on an MA programme. Many employers recruit for Modern Apprenticeship roles and others offer existing employees the opportunity to undertake this training.  This is a chance achieve an industry-recognised qualification that will vastly improve your career prospects without having to study full time.

An apprenticeship is an investment – both for you and your employer. The rewards are enormous on both sides. As you develop and strengthen your skillset, you are likely to grow in confidence, contributing more to your job role and bringing new ideas into the workplace.

An MA qualification will help you progress within your chosen field of work, and could also create opportunities for advanced college or university entry.

Learning through College and Work

Your training will be provided over an agreed term, typically for most apprenticeships this ranges from 2 to 4 years. Unless your apprenticeship is purely work-based you will attend College initially on a day or block release period whilst also working towards a training plan at work. As your apprenticeship progresses you will find that the time you spend at College reduces and your training becomes solely work-based.

In return, you will be expected to carry out the required training and assessments whilst performing your day to day role for your employer.


To be eligible for a Modern Apprenticeship:

  • You must meet the age criteria – the majority of our places are for individuals who are 16-19 although we have a limited number of places for those who are aged 19 or over. There is no upper age limit.
  • You must be in full-time employment in a suitable job for your chosen field.
  • You must have the full support of your employer and agree on the type of apprenticeship path you wish to take.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary according to the specific apprenticeship you choose.

While some industries want apprentices who already have Standard Grades at general level other employers don’t ask for any formal qualifications at all. Some employers may ask for previous experience in certain industries.

As core skills are required for all Modern Apprenticeships, an existing core skills profile may be asked for when you apply.

“Earn while you learn”

Although there is no set rate of pay for apprentices, you’re entitled to the national minimum wage for an apprentice.

Find out more about Modern Apprenticeship pay and holidays

Who pays?

Your employer and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will meet the cost of Modern Apprenticeship employee training, so there’s no cost to you to learn new skills.

The only investment you need make is in terms of time – the effort that you put in will bring enormous rewards, in the form of improved self-confidence, competence, efficiency and motivation.

Once you have identified a pathway with your employer, you should complete the online application together.

You will need the following information to complete the online application:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Employer’s name, address & telephone number
  • Manager’s name & telephone number
  • Your school/college qualifications and school leaving certificate
  • Your SQA Core Skills Profile certificate


Your application will be considered by the relevant teaching team and your eligibility for funding from Skills Development Scotland will then be checked.

If your employer has not worked with the College before, a member of our staff will visit them to make sure that the job you will be doing fits the criteria for the vocational qualification.

Once a place can be offered on our Modern Apprenticeship programme you and your employer will be contacted to arrange for you both to sign the appropriate contract documents.

This process is likely to take a couple of weeks.

As a Modern Apprentice you will be expected to undertake the necessary training and assessments, attending courses if required, and you must keep up-to-date records.

As any other employee, you should be diligent and punctual, behaving in a responsible manner at all times.

Types of Modern Apprenticeship


If you have any questions or require further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

Email MATeam@nescol.ac.uk

My World of Work

My World of Work is Skills Development Scotland’s web service, offering valuable information and resources to people in Scotland who are looking for employment, or looking to develop their careers.

Visit the My World of Work website