Young student working at a desk in an open plan office during a work placement next to their mentor.

Apprenticeships for Employers

Apprenticeships are a great way to train existing employees or introduce new ones as well as grow your business.

Employing an apprentice can bring huge benefits to your business. You can choose to put a current staff member onto an apprenticeship to develop their knowledge and skills or recruit a new apprentice for your workforce. Apprenticeship programmes combine work experience, practical learning and theory at college to make sure apprentices are fully qualified for the role they are employed in. Not all apprenticeships require college attendance. 

Edinburgh College apprenticeship courses are aligned with industry needs and offer real-life working environments using modern technologies. Edinburgh College may be able to assist you with the recruitment of your apprentice by offering you suitable applicants using our existing students studying in the area you wish to recruit.

What types of apprentices can I employ?

There are two types of apprentices that you can employ:

Foundation Apprentice (FA)

A 16 - 18-year-old school pupil who is learning theory at college while practising work-based skills at a work placement.

Modern Apprentice (MA)

Anyone from 16 years old who is employed, learning theory at college while practising work-based skills at their place of employment.

What are the benefits of having an apprentice?

  • Introducing new and innovative ideas into the business through a young workforce.
  • Cost-effective hiring and employee retention.
  • Funding and financial support for the training and qualifications essential for the sustainability of the business.
  • Succession Planning and addressing age demographics in the business.
  • Being competitive in the marketplace.

What criteria does my employee need to meet to get an apprenticeship?

  • Must be aged 16 and over.
  • Apprentices don’t necessarily need any qualifications, but some may require a general pass at Standard Grade or National 5.
  • No prior experience is required.
  • An initial assessment will be carried out to ensure the employee is suitable for the apprenticeship.

What are the benefits to my business?

  • Return on investment in 18-24 months (on average).
  • Funding is available for training from Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
  • Freedom to choose an apprentice that fits with your business requirements and culture.
  • Grow your employee count to meet the demands of new work.
  • Pass on skills to a younger team to keep knowledge in your business.
  • Reduction in training and recruitment costs.
  • Apprenticeships and training can be tailored to your business requirements and skill gaps.
  • Young people offer a new exciting way of thinking and offer fresh opportunities for your current staff, such as mentoring.
  • SDS and the College training team can assist with your recruitment. SDS also offers recruitment support on their website

What benefits do my staff members get by becoming a Modern Apprentice?

  • Earn money while they learn.
  • Get a recognised qualification.
  • Develop new skills and gain real practical work experience.
  • Start a long-term career.
  • Learn the specific skills needed for their industry.

How long is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships range from one to four years and are designed to fit around employer requirements. Modes of attendance can vary, please check with our team for more information on specific apprenticeship programmes.

Who pays for the apprentice?

Modern Apprenticeships at Edinburgh College are delivered in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to develop Scotland’s young workforce. Funding for employers may be available from Skills Development Scotland (SDS). SDS provide Training Providers (such as Edinburgh College) with a contribution towards the cost of the training. Employers may have to contribute to their apprentices’ training depending on their age and the occupational area they are undertaking their apprenticeship in.

All apprentices must have a contract of employment and be paid the appropriate wage by their employer. Find out more information regarding apprentice wages and conditions.

Our apprenticeship portfolio

We offer apprenticeships in the following industries:

Automotive Engineering


Creative Industries

Dental Nursing

Digital Marketing


Fire and Security System


Life Sciences and Related Science Industries

Professional Cookery

Social Services (Children and Young People)

Social Services and Healthcare

Entrance to Sighthill campus building

Contact us

To find out more about apprenticeships at Edinburgh College please contact:

0131 297 8600