First Graduation for Foundation Apprentices

21st June 2016

First Graduation for Foundation Apprentices

Fife pupils, who are amongst the first in the country to complete a Foundation Apprenticeship, have been recognised at a special ceremony held at Lochgelly High School today (Friday 17 June 2016).

The group of 25 pupils, of which 12 attended the event, have completed the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering, giving them qualifications and skills previously only available once they had left school.

Foundation Apprenticeships were introduced two years ago by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), in partnership with Fife College and Fife Council, and are designed to equip young people with the skills they need, and employers want. As a result of the Foundation Apprenticeship piloted by Fife College, the programme is now being rolled out to schools across Scotland, in a wider range of subjects.

Janet McCauslin, Director of Projects at Fife College, opened the event by welcoming the pupils, their families and staff. Representatives from Fife Council and local engineering companies involved in delivering the work-based elements of the apprenticeship also attended.

Emma Scott from Lochgelly has enjoyed being on the Foundation Apprenticeship Programme and said:

“I heard about the Programme at school and thought it would really help me. It will look great on my CV and shows I’m committed to my future career.

“I’ve enjoyed the work and the environment. On this course you’re given more space to work on your own and you’re treated more like an adult. I’ve learned a lot – it’s not all machinery, there are a lot of technical drawing skills to master on the course which has been great for me. I would recommend it to everyone and especially encourage girls to give it a try.

“I’d really like to be an architect – my Highers and my Foundation Apprenticeship in engineering have enabled me to secure a place at Dundee University to study architecture which I’m looking forward to starting in September.”

Hugh Logan, Principal at Fife College said: “Foundation Apprenticeships are new and innovative work-based learning pathways to careers for young people. They are designed with industry partners to help young people get the valuable industry experience whilst still at school, and in partnership with colleges.

“We are delighted to be one of the first Colleges to work with SDS in launching this exciting initiative. It is something very special and ground breaking and it was fantastic to see the first pupils graduate from the programme today.”

“Thanks to a great partnership team we are opening up wider opportunities for secondary pupils in Fife and beyond which will have a positive effect on meeting the skills demands of industry while giving our young people the best possible start in their future careers.”

The Foundation Apprenticeship Programme aims to ensure that by the time pupils leave school, they will have completed a nationally recognised qualification which makes up a significant part of a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) and will also have gained some workplace experience to enhance their skills for future job applications. The qualification is valuable to those who go on to do a Modern Apprenticeship or to move on to college, university or employment.

Brian Humphrey, Senior Delivery Manager for Foundation Apprenticeships at Skills Development Scotland said:

“The first young people to complete a Foundation Apprenticeship in engineering represents a key milestone in the development of this new work-based learning programme.

“Foundation Apprenticeships introduce young people to the world of work and equips them with the skills and experience to gain accelerated entry onto a Modern Apprenticeship or continue their studies at college or university.

“Foundation Apprenticeships have come a long way since they were first introduced two years ago thanks to the hard work and dedication of young people, colleges, schools and employers.

“The strong progress demonstrates the value of Foundation Apprenticeships and we want more and more young people to have the opportunity to complete a Foundation Apprenticeship.

“College recruitment for young people, who start in August 2016, is well underway and they are on track to become part of every school’s offer by the end of the decade.”

Derek Brown, Head of Education, Fife Council, said: “These pioneering Foundation Apprenticeships offer pupils the opportunity to take part in vocational learning while in full-time education, boosting their employability skills and increasing their chances of moving in to the workplace when they leave school. In Fife we’re committed to encouraging employers to work with education and young people to build up the skills of young Fifer’s, to help them secure good jobs and establish a career path.”

Graduates at the ceremony found out that, thanks to gaining a Foundation Apprenticeship, they are eligible to be nominated for a Foundation Apprentice of the Year Award – a new category introduced into this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Awards. Pupils will be nominated through their school and the awards event will be held in Edinburgh on November 3.

For further information about the range of Foundation Apprenticeships available for High School pupils at Fife College visit


For further details on this News Release contact Lyn Gold, PR and Events Co-ordinator, Fife College on 01383 559028 or 07788291167

Photograph Attached

First Foundation Apprenticeships graduate.


1. Skills Development Scotland has developed Foundation Apprenticeships with support from the European Social Fund.

  1. The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit their website or follow @scotgovESIF.

3. Recruitment for 2016/17 Foundation Apprenticeships at West Lothian College is already well underway. Foundation Apprenticeships in Civil Engineering and Software Development will be available to pupils from the region.

4. Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed by the national skills agency Skills Development Scotland. They enable pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and work experience that will help to broaden their options, enabling them to go on to gain accelerated entry onto a related Modern Apprenticeship, continue their studies at college or university or go directly into employment. More information about Foundation Apprenticeships is available at

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