EPS questions on apprenticeships include employer engagement with apprenticeships, their reasons for offering (or not offering) apprenticeships, characteristics of the current offering, and the market potential for apprenticeships.
Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships
Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships (FAs and GAs) were introduced in Scotland in 2014 and 2017 respectively. 52% of all employers are aware of GAs and 1% had a current GA at the time of the survey; 43% are aware of FAs and 1% had an FA undertake a work placement with them.
Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) in Scotland allow individuals to work whilst gaining an industry-recognised qualification, and allow employers to develop their workforce by training new staff and upskilling existing employees. Funding is available towards the cost of training for individuals aged 16 and over who undertake an MA – contribution rates depend on the type of apprenticeship, the SCQF level of the apprenticeship, and the age of the apprentice. Funding for apprentices aged 25+ is only available in selected occupational frameworks in line with policy priorities. Enhanced funding contributions are available for disabled people and / or care experienced young people aged 20 – 29 who are undertaking MAs. 73% of all employers are aware of MAs.
Number of apprentices
16% of employers offered apprenticeships in 2019.
The apprentice numbers in this section include those doing either Modern or Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland. The proportion of Scottish employers who apprenticeships has increased since 2016 (Table 6).
Table 6: Apprenticeships, 2014, 2016 and 2019
|Proportion of employers offering apprenticeships||12%||15%||16%|
Base population: 4,015 (2014), 4,009 (2016), 2,652 (2019)
Employers with 100+ employees have the largest proportion of establishments offering apprenticeships (56%); employers with 2 to 4 employees have the smallest proportion (8%), as shown in Figure 12.
The sector with the largest proportion of establishments offering apprenticeships is ‘Education’ (32%); ‘Primary sector and utilities’ and ‘Financial services’ are the sectors with the smallest proportions (7%).
Most employers who employ an apprentice have only one (56% of such employers), and 12% have five or more. The average is 2.6 apprentices per participating employer.
22% of employers offering apprenticeships started doing so in the last three years. This is most commonly because they view apprenticeships as a good way to get skilled staff (30%) and to help bring young people into the company or industry (28%).
Employers who do not offer apprenticeships most commonly believe them not to be suitable for employers of their size (20% overall, higher among small employers); are not looking for staff (17%); feel their existing staff are fully skilled (14%); or believe that they are not offered for or relevant for their sector (13%).
Figure 12: Proportion of employers offering apprenticeships by establishment size, 2019
Base population: 2,652
Key characteristics of current apprenticeship offering
Apprenticeships are most commonly offered to young people under the age of 25.
The apprentice numbers in this section include those doing either Modern or Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland.
Most employers who currently have or offer apprenticeships offer them to those aged under 25 (90%) and are less likely to offer them to people aged 25 and over.
Employers are also more likely to offer apprenticeships to new recruits than to existing employees. Table shows the groups of people to whom apprenticeships are made available.
Table 7: Groups to whom apprenticeships are offered
|Apprenticeship group||Proportion of employers with apprenticeships who offer to this group|
|Under 25 year olds||90%|
|Exclusively under 25 year olds||44%|
|25 year olds and older||47%|
|Exclusively 25 year olds and older||1%|
|Exclusively new recruits||43%|
|Exclusively existing employees||7%|
|New recruits or existing employees||46%|
Base population: 624
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