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The Modern Apprenticeship (MA) programme is a scheme of work based training, offering the same terms and conditions as other employees while gaining experience and qualifications.

Apprentices work towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) ranging from Level 2 up to a degree level MAs.

When you can recruit

You can recruit a MA at any time of the year depending on when training places are available. Candidates can be a new recruit to your organisation or an existing employee, provided they meet certain criteria.

In some sectors, such as construction and engineering, it’s worth noting that there are peak recruitment periods for those attending college on a day or block release basis.

What it costs

As an employer you are responsible for paying wage costs only.

All training costs are met by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and facilitated by our Employability Team who act as the training provider.

As they are employed they may be entitled to pay tax and national insurance. They must be given 20 days of paid holiday per year, plus public holidays.

Modern Apprentices who have been looked after by the local authority or have a disability or additional needs, can benefit from full funding at the highest level up until 29 years of age.

Conditions which would qualify a MA for this high level support include:

  • social or communication impairment
  • asperger’s syndrome or autistic spectrum disorder
  • cognitive impairment
  • visual impairment
  • hearing impairment
  • long standing illness such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, chronic heart disease or epilepsy
  • mental health difficulty such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety disorder
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D
  • physical impairment or mobility issues

Anyone who has been formally looked after by a local authority, in the family home with support from a social worker, in a residential or foster home or in kinship care with friends or relatives, also qualifies for support.

Type of apprenticeships available

We and our partners can offer apprenticeships in a vast number of areas. You can see a full list of all the MA frameworks at Skills Development Scotland.

How long it takes to complete a modern apprenticeship

The length of an apprenticeship varies according to the level and sector. They usually take anything between one and four years to complete depending on how the assessment is organised.

Our team can work with you to arrange the best solution for your workforce. For example, a one year apprenticeship assessed on the job or two to four years including college attendance.

Existing employee beginning an apprenticeship

If you have an employee wishing to begin an apprenticeship, this may be possible if the employee fulfils the criteria and is eligible to join the MA programme. 

How to recruit a modern apprentice

Our Employability Team are responsible for facilitating the training for MAs across East Ayrshire Council services and will administer the funding to cover the cost of the MA qualification.

Every financial year we allocate MA training places for 16-19 year olds based on identified demand expressed from services. If you are thinking of recruiting a MA you should:

  • contact us to confirm a training place on the programme is available and that you have a budget in place to pay the salary costs
  • where the MA is a new post, complete the appropriate recruitment documentation (EST1/RAF) for submission to Human Resources
  • once the post has been approved, advise us how many MA posts you wish to recruit
  • ask Human Resources to advertise the MA opportunity on myjobscotland
  • send the job advert to us at the Employability Team and we will arrange advertising on the Skills Development Scotland website
  • short list candidates for interview
  • interview and identify potential candidate
  • contact us to request an eligibility check prior to any confirmed start and contract of employment is issued
  • agree a start date, notify Human Resources so that a contract of employment can be issued
  • advise us of start date so we can arrange for the MA induction to be carried out during the first week of employment and arrange any necessary assessment

Roles and responsibilities

An MA receives the opportunity to train to a nationally recognised standard while employed and gaining experience on the job.

The employer/service provides a safe working environment where a MA can earn while working and learning in return they gain a fully trained employee contributing to the success of the business.

We deliver an approved programme of learning in line with the employers’ and individual’s needs. We assign an assessor to the MA who is responsible for overseeing and assessing their work based or college accreditation.

SDS funds the training element of the MA programme which we facilitate.

Modern apprenticeship frameworks

Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of sectors and the format of training is decided by the appropriate Skills Council starting at Level 2.

These include:

  • accounting
  • achieving excellence in sports performance
  • active leisure, learning and wellbeing
  • agriculture
  • aquaculture
  • bus and coach engineering and maintenance
  • business and administration
  • construction
  • courts and tribunal operations
  • creative
  • creative and digital media
  • customer service
  • dental nursing
  • electrical installation
  • engineering
  • engineering construction
  • equine
  • extractive and minerals processing
  • facilities services and management
  • fashion and textiles heritage
  • financial services
  • food and drink
  • freight logistics
  • furniture, finishes and interior
  • game and wildlife management
  • gas industry
  • glass industry operations
  • hairdressing and barbering
  • healthcare support
  • heating and ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration
  • horticulture
  • hospitality
  • housing
  • human resource management
  • ICT
  • industrial applications
  • land-based engineering
  • life sciences
  • management
  • maritime occupations
  • occupational health and safety
  • oil and gas production
  • paralegal practice
  • payroll
  • PCV driving
  • pharmacy services
  • plumbing
  • power distribution
  • print
  • process manufacturing
  • procurement L3
  • rail engineering
  • retail
  • security systems
  • signmaking
  • smart meter installations
  • social services
  • supply chain management
  • sustainable resource operations and management
  • travel services
  • trees and timber
  • water Industries
  • water treatment management
  • wind turbine operations
  • wood and timber
  • youth work

Contact Information

Employability Team
Telephone: 01563 503000

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