Reference year 2019

    1Scheme history

    Q1. When was the scheme introduced?
    Long history (before 2000)
    Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
    New pathway (after 2012)

    Graduate Apprenticeships were introduced from 2014 onwards

    Q2. How did the apprenticeship scheme originate?
    Traditional craftsmanship (master-apprentice relation) to prepare apprentices for the occupation
    School-based VET track by including more work-based learning to supply skilled workforce to match labour market needs

    Graduate Apprenticeships were introduced to support employers who want to invest in their staff by providing employees with work-based learning up to SCQF level 11 (EQF level 7).


    Q3. Does the legal basis define the minimum and maximum age limits for enrolment of the target group of this scheme?
    Minimum and maximum age limits defined
    Minimum age limits defined only

    Graduate Apprenticeships are aimed at those aged 16 and over providing that the apprentice is in employment.

    Q4. What is the average age of learners in practice?
    Between 15 and 18
    Between 18 and 24
    Above 24

    There is no age data published with regards to apprentices enrolled in Graduate Apprenticeships.

    Q5. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

    Graduate Apprenticeship Data

    Phase 1 (September 2017):
    For September 2017, 379 Graduate Apprentices places were contracted across 9 learning providers and 4 programmes (frameworks) with 278 Graduate Apprenticeship starts. These 278 starts were reported in 2017/2018 Modern Apprenticeship statistical publication[1].

    A detailed report on Graduate Apprenticeships was published in August 2019 and can be found at…

    In the financial year 2018/19 there were an average of  2,500 learners.




    Q7. Are the qualifications included in the National Qualification Framework (NQF)?
    Q8. Is the scheme included in the ISCED 2011 mapping?
    Q10. Which is the type of qualification obtained through the apprenticeship scheme?
    Formal VET qualification (which does not indicate the pathway)
    Formal VET qualification (which indicates the pathway)
    Formal apprenticeship qualification (journeyman, etc.)

    Graduate Apprenticeships – These include degrees at SCQF levels 9 to 11 (EQF levels 6 to 7).

    Q11. Does the scheme provide direct access to higher education?
    Q12. What is the typical duration of the apprenticeship programme?

    A Graduate Apprenticeship will take up to four years to complete.  


    Q13. Is there any organization at the national level with roles in co-ordinating the scheme?

    Skills Development Scotland (SDS) administers the Scotland Apprenticeship Scheme (Programme) on behalf of Scottish Government, which incorporates Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs), Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) and Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs).

    Q14. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives, sectoral councils (if existent), in shaping apprenticeship content, as per regulation?
    Role in designing qualification
    Role in designing curricula
    No role

    Graduate Apprenticeships are developed through ongoing consultation with employers*, universities, professional bodies and qualifications authorities in the form of technical expert groups (TEGs). The TEGs act as an advisory group on behalf of the sector and are based on the premise that industry provides the expertise to identify the skills and knowledge they need for a competent graduate workforce. The academic representatives develop the programme, quality standards and alignment to professional accreditation required for delivery of the award.

    *If there is an employer association in place then it would be part of the consultations. Scottish Government is keen that actual employers are involved in the design of apprenticeship schemes and not just representative bodies.

    Q15. What is the role of chambers, employers’ and employees’ representatives in implementing the apprenticeship scheme, as per regulation?
    Role in final assessment of apprentices
    Role in accreditation of companies
    Role in monitoring of the in-company training
    No role

    Graduate Apprenticeships are built on a partnership between single employers and learning providers. The work-based learning component of Graduate Apprenticeship is a significant and central part of the degree. The apprentice will undertake a programme leading to a degree on a part time basis. As full-time employees, apprentices are undertaking the degree on a part time basis as opposed to undertaking the degree on a full time basis and not working.  Their work setting and support from their employer will be central to the contextualisation of their learning - Skills, knowledge and competence will be integrated.

    Learning providers and employers establish partnerships specifically to deliver a work-based degree. Employers have an equal role in the delivery and assessment of the programme. Employers will also have a role in the selection and ongoing support such as mentoring and in the range of quality assurance systems and processes.

    5Training at the workplace

    Q17. Is it compulsory to alternate training between two learning venues (school and company)?

    There is no legal framework but the design rules state that it is expected that the apprentices will spend approximately 80% of the time in the workplace and 20% in the university.

    Q18. Is the in-company training defined as minimum share of the apprenticeship scheme duration?
    Yes, equivalent or more than 50% of scheme duration
    Yes, between 20% and 50% of the scheme duration
    Yes, less than 20% of the scheme duration
    No, no minimum share is compulsory

    Although there is no legal framework, the design rules require the Graduate Apprentice to spend most of their time in the workplace but they are also required to attend university.

    Q19. Is there a distinction between the training time and working time for the period spent at workplace, as per regulation?
    Yes, the legal framework makes this distinction
    No, the legal framework makes no distinction
    Q20. What is the form of alternation of training between workplace (company) and school?
    Every week includes both venues
    One or more weeks (less than 1 month) spent at school followed by one or more weeks at workplace
    One or more months (less than 1 year) spent at school followed by one or more months at workplace
    A longer period (1-2 years) spent at school followed by a longer period spent training at workplace
    Various – depends on agreements between the school and the company
    Not specified

    Although there is no legal framework, the design rules require the Graduate Apprentice to spend most of their time in the workplace but they are also required to attend university.

    Q22. Is the company hosting apprentices required by regulation to follow a training plan at the workplace?
    Yes, the training plan is based on the national/sectoral requirements for the in-company training
    Yes, the training plan is agreed at the level of school and company
    No, is not required formally

    Skills Development Scotland requires that there is an Individual Training Plan in place between the employer, the apprentice and the university. 

    If there is no alternation the university will take the lead in drawing up the training plan but works closely with the employer and apprentice.  SDS monitors the implementation of the training plan (as it does with Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships.

    Q23. What are the requirements on companies to provide placements, as per regulation?
    Have to provide a suitable learning environment
    Have to provide a mentor / tutor / trainer

    As Graduate Apprentices are employees, the employer is required to ensure that it provides the apprentice with the facilities, training and work place opportunities necessary to achieve the selected outcomes specified in the apprentice’s Individual Training Plan.

    Q25. Are there any sanctions on companies that do not provide training to apprentices at the workplace?

    As above, given that the Graduate Apprentices are employees, the employer must have the facilities, training and work place opportunities in place.

     SDS undertakes quality assurance monitoring of Graduate Apprenticeships. This includes ensuring that the universities who deliver Apprenticeship training programmes meet national quality assurance standards for national training programmes.

    6Contract and compensation

    Q26. What is the status of the learner?
    Only student
    Only employee
    Apprentice is a specific status (student and employee combined)

    For Graduate Apprenticeships, the apprentice is an employee.

    Q27. Is there any written arrangement between the learner and company, required as per regulation?

    Graduate Apprenticeships - all apprentices are employees so there will be a contract of employment between the employer and the apprentice. 

    There is a requirement for an Individual Training Plan agreed and signed by the employer, the apprentice and university

    Q28. What is the nature of the written arrangement?
    Apprenticeships are an ordinary employment contract
    Apprenticeships are a specific type of contract
    Another type of formal agreement, not a contract

    All Graduate Apprentices are required to be employed.

    Q29. Where is the contract or the formal agreement registered?
    At the school
    At the Ministry of employment
    At the chambers
    At the Ministry of education

    The contract of employment will be held by the employer with the apprentice receiving a copy.

    The Individual Training Plan is held by the training provider and monitored by SDS in the case of publicly funded apprenticeships.

    Q30. Do apprentices receive a wage or allowance?
    Yes, all apprentices receive a wage (taxable income)
    Yes, all apprentices receive an allowance (not a form of taxable income)
    Apprentices receive a reimbursement of expenses
    No form of compensation is foreseen by law

    All Graduate Apprentices receive a wage. 

    Q31. How is the apprentice wage (taxable income) set?
    By law (applying for all)
    By cross-sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By sectoral collective agreements at national or local level
    By firm-level collective agreements or individual agreements between apprentice and company

    The only legislation that would relate is the minimum wage legislation.  The wage would therefore be set by the employer providing that it is line with minimum wage legislation. With Graduate Apprenticeships, this a matter between the employer and the apprentice

    7Financing and incentives

    Q32. Who covers the cost of the wage or allowance of the apprentice?

    Employers pay the apprentices their wage.

    Q33. What are the sources of financing of the direct costs for the in-company training part of the apprenticeship scheme?
    Single employers hosting apprentices
    Sectoral funds

    For Graduate Apprenticeships, the learning cost is currently fully funded by the State for the duration of the course. This is paid directly to the college or university. The employer pays the apprentices a salary.

    Q34. Are there any financial incentives for companies that offer apprenticeship places?
    Yes, subsidies
    Yes, tax deductions
    Yes, other incentives
    No financial incentives
    Q35. Does the wage or allowance of the apprentice cover both the time spent at school and in the company?
    No, it covers only the time spent in the company

    Because graduate apprentices are full time employees, the wages that they are paid will cover time spent in the workplace and also the time spent at university.

    Q36. Are there any incentives for learners?
    Yes, grants paid to learners to top up their remuneration
    Yes, grants paid to learners related to other costs (travel, food etc.)
    Yes, recognition of prior learning / fast-track opportunities
    Yes, other types of incentives