School leaver


From mid-March to the end of May, SQA will welcome applications from candidates for its 2016 Modern Apprentice positions.During this time, the organisation will hold an open event at its Lowden office near Dalkeith to pupils who are due to leave school this year.

Meanwhile a similar drive will continue in Glasgow; with SQA also attending the Glasgow Guarantee recruitment fair on 07 March.

As part of the recruitment activity, SQA has also produced a short film featuring current Modern Apprentices talking about what they enjoy most about working and training with SQA.

Sean Gartland was SQA’s first Modern Apprentice to have been offered a permanent position after completing his training.  Sean now works as a Customer Service Operator within SQA’s Business Development and Customer Service Team.

Sean said: “I was told about SQA’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme by my careers advisor at school.  I thought it sounded like an interesting opportunity, and when I was told that I would be able to study for an HNC at college and towards a SVQ while I was working, I knew it was something I wanted to do.”

Sean continued: “It’s been a really interesting couple of years.  I worked across a number of departments during my training, but now I’m back in the Customer Service Team, dealing with enquiries and helping our customers, which is the part of the job I really enjoy.”

For more information about Modern Apprenticeships at SQA and how to apply for them, visit

Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday 29 February to Friday 04 March. For more information, visit


Part 1 of 3

Scottish Apprenticeship Week – Celebrating 5 years!

This year we are celebrating 5 years of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness of apprenticeships within young people and employers.

The first Scottish Apprenticeship Week was launched by Skills Development Scotland on 5th-9th September in 2011 to highlight the real benefits a business can gain by recruiting apprentices. Apprenticeships in Scotland were excited about this and of course had to join in the activities. For many years we have been actively promoting apprenticeships to both young people and employers across Scotland, representing a youth voice for vocational training and as a result creating new apprenticeship opportunities.

To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016, Shannen Scott (Head of Apprenticeships in Scotland) will share a three-part blog series highlighting both hers and Apprenticeships in Scotland’s activities, as well as the significant milestones in the youth labour market since the launch of Scottish Apprenticeship Week in 2011.

Part one will highlight some key occasions during 2012, kicking off with Scottish Apprenticeship Week!

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2012
I started my apprenticeship with Career Studio (Scotland) Ltd in May 2012 slap bang in the middle of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2012. I was employed as a Business Enterprise Apprentice, a role created as a result of a brand new social enterprise project called Apprenticeships in Scotland. Young people were employed to run and grow the company which launched in 2009.

Apprenticeships in Scotland had already established a name for itself when I joined the team. Just a few months prior to me beginning my career, Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance visited our office to learn more about the work we were doing for Scottish young people. She had a big role to play in achieving the Scottish Government target of 25,000 MA starts.

My role became evidently more important as the year went on when I was provided the opportunity to represent an apprentice’s journey and speak with teachers and education providers at the Scottish Learning Festival. It was important to talk about the real benefits of young people completing a vocational qualification directly to the people helping them make their career choices throughout S1 – S6.

We not only talked the talk, but we walked the walk too! Thrown in at the deep end at the age of 19 I attended my first Youth Employment Conference, meeting professionals that had been in the business for over 20 years. I represented a youth voice for key policy issues surrounding apprenticeships at the conference; together with my colleagues, we were the only young people there.

The journey continued around Scotland and I was wheeled out to yet another event on my own! I hosted a networking table at the annual STF conference to present to Scottish Training Providers about how we could work together to help young people access high quality apprenticeships and also help employers navigate the tricky apprenticeship landscape. Later, we met with Chief Executive Colin Dalrymple to formalise a service offering for STF members.

Finally in 2012 we launched our own Apprenticeship in Enterprise scheme in partnership with Fife Council, a first for Scotland.

Next week in part-two I will speak about some key highlights from 2013 and 2014!


Comments Off on Would you like an Apprenticeship this Christmas?

Would you like an Apprenticeship this Christmas?

Posted by | 9th December 2015 | Across Scotland, Apprentice, Apprenticeship News, School leaver, Uncategorized

We have put together some useful information for those who are interested in leaving school this Christmas.

Can I leave school in December?
On it states that if you turn 16 between 1 October and the end of February you can leave at the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.

Knowing what skills you have and what your strengths and weaknesses are will help you fill in your CV, cover letter and application forms. Read the top 10 skills employers look for within young people for some ideas by clicking here.

Job search
Begin your job search at; it is a great place to start (slightly bias!). Even if you don’t see anything suitable on this visit you can register to receive regular e-mail updates of new opportunities – we post new opportunities every day so why not follow us on Facebook and Twitter?

Note: We like to publish the best opportunities for young people in Scotland so we put together this short blog on how to spot fake apprenticeships. Read more here.

Have you found a job to apply for, but are struggling to sell yourself and put together a CV? Don’t worry! Our apprentices had the same difficulties when they were looking for jobs, that’s why they put together a template to help other young people secure an apprenticeship. You can download it here (page 1)

Cover Letters
Your cover letter is the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression. Let’s make this one count! You can download our cover letter template here (page 2)

Application forms
Application forms can be daunting whether you have to fill one out online or fill out a paper form. We’ve put together some helpful tips for you to make your application stand out!

Once you’ve secured that interview, you need to know how to prepare for it! Check out our 6 top tips to help you out by clicking here.

Have any questions? Feel free to email us or call on 01334 844 860.