Modern apprenticeships: earnings

The Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) from Modern Apprenticeships (MA) release provides details on earnings of those who completed MAs in Scotland. This release has median earnings split by key characteristics of individuals, such as gender, age, occupation, and SIMD quintile.

This document is part of a collection


Background methodology:

Detailed information will be made available in a Methodology document alongside this release:

Additional detailed information on the LEO data is available in the Department for Education releases:

Further detailed information on Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland is available on the Skills Development Scotland website:

Suppression and rounding:

In line with disclosure control rules, information based on fewer than 11 individuals has been supressed. This aligns with our previous releases of LEO data. All earnings to the nearest £100.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) data collection:

SDS collect data on MA leavers from the Financial and Information Processing System (FIPS) and Corporate Training System (CTS). All data is entered and maintained by organisations contracted with Skills Development Scotland to deliver Modern Apprenticeships.

Data integrity checks are made by SDS on an ongoing basis. Final checks are completed prior to production of reports.

Data Quality:

Users should be aware of limitations around the data included in this publication;


A review in 2015/16 established that, in relation to equalities data, there are specific challenges around the collection and comparison of disability rates and the self-disclosure of this information. As a result, it was suspected that there was an under reporting of disability disclosure within MA statistics. Due to this data issue, disability has not been included in this release.

SDS's current disability disclosure question was first asked in 2016/17. This reporting mechanism, alongside other proactive interventions undertaken by SDS with partners to increase participation and disclosure, is likely to have contributed to the increase in disability declaration from 2016/17. With improved self-declaration, it is anticipated disability breakdowns will be included in future releases.


Analysis of the ethnicity data showed that there was a large number of unknowns in the data, such that "Not known" made up one of the largest ethnic groupings for completers in 2011/12. On reviewing this with SDS, it was decided that the data collected on ethnicity was not robust enough to publish on. Data will continue to be monitored with the aim of publishing ethnicity breakdowns in future releases.


The employment data covers those with records submitted through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system and the Self-Assessed system. Neither systems collect information on the number of hours worked; therefore, whether an individual is working full-time or part-time cannot be ascertained. We are exploring the opportunity to link the LEO data to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which will allow for a subset of the LEO data to contain information on full-time and part-time work patterns.

Location of Work:

Earnings can vary greatly across different regions of the UK and Scotland. The PAYE and self-assessment systems do not collect information on the location of an individual's employment; meaning we cannot account for any regional variations. We are exploring two options to address this:

  • To use the latest home address collected by DWP through their Customer Information System (CIS), which is updated whenever an individual notifies a change of address.
  • To link LEO data to the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), which will allow for a subset of the LEO data to contain information on region and sector of employment.

Career Path:

Different MAs will lead to different career paths, with some careers requiring additional training from their employer after completion of their MA. Some individuals may change career entirely, and the occupation they are in five years after completing their MA may not reflect the occupational grouping of the completed MA.

Completion of Modern Apprenticeships: This release focuses on individuals who have successfully completed their MA. Those who have withdrawn early or not completed their MA are excluded from this release, in line with similar published data for higher education outcomes.

Time period: The time period for which employment and earnings data is reported in this publication is five years year after completion. This refers to the full tax year five years after completion. So, for those who completed their MA in the 2011/12 tax year, employment and earnings outcomes relate to the 2016/17 tax year. As MAs are aligned to tax year rather than an academic year, this differs from the time period covered in our LEO release for graduates from universities.

Employment outcomes:

Outcomes are presented for completers that have been successfully matched to the Department for Work and Pensions' Customer Information System (CIS). In this publication these individuals are referred to as matched. Matched individuals are only included if they are in sustained employment. Individuals are considered to be in sustained employment if they were employed for at least one day for five out of six months between October and March of the tax year in question or if they had a self-employment record in that tax year.

Annualised earnings:

Earnings figures are only reported for those classified as being in sustained employment and where we have valid earnings record from the P14. A P14 is a tax return for an individual employee and must be completed by their employer. Earnings from self-assessment are not included in a P14.

For each individual, the earnings reported for them on the HMRC P14 data for a given tax year are divided by the number of days recorded in employment across that same tax year. The number of days recorded is the total number of days that an individual was employed and not the number of days they have worked, meaning working patterns cannot be determined. This provides an average daily wage that is then multiplied by the number of days in the tax year to calculate their annualised earnings.

This calculation has been used to maintain consistency with our previous LEO statistical releases and provides MAs with an indication of earnings they might receive once in sustained employment.

The annualised earnings calculated are slightly higher than the raw earnings reported in the tax year. This is because the earnings of those who did not work for the entire tax year will be higher when annualised. The difference between the annualised and raw figures decreases as time elapses after completion. Median annualised earnings five years after completion are around £300 higher than the median raw earnings.

All earnings presented are nominal. They represent the cash amount an individual was paid and are not adjusted for inflation (the general increase in the price of goods and services).

Total earnings:

Earnings in this release are presented as total earnings, which is the sum of the annualised PAYE earnings and raw self-assessment earnings. If an individual has earnings only through either PAYE or self-assessment, then their total earnings will be equal to their PAYE or self-assessment earnings. Total earnings figures are only reported for those in sustained employment through the PAYE or Self-Assessed systems.

Self-assessment earnings (SA):

Self-assessment earnings only include profits from partnership enterprises and profit from sole-trader enterprises. As the self-assessment data does not include any information on the number of days worked for a tax year, we make the assumption that the recorded earnings through self-assessment relate to the full tax year. This means that unlike the PAYE earnings, the SA earnings are not annualised.

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD): The SIMD ranks small areas (data zones) in Scotland from most deprived to least deprived. The SIMD overall rank is calculated from the individual ranks of seven domains: Income, Employment, Health, Education/skills, Housing, Geographic access, and Crime. The quintiles represent 5 equal-sized groups of the SIMD ranks, with quintile 1 representing the 20% most deprived areas, and quintile 5 representing the 20% least deprived areas.

We have used SIMD 2009 as this was the index that was available during the 2011/12 tax year, when the MAs that this publication focuses on completed their training.

Further detailed information is available in the SIMD publication:

Age: The age of an individual at the start of their MA is used in this release as this aligns with how SDS publish by age and funding bands in their statistical releases.



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