Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) Update - For those of you completing a Foundation Apprenticeship and want to know what is being done to ensure you achieve your qualification, please visit -

Foundation Apprenticeships are two year programmes that give pupils the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience and a fully recognised qualification at SCQF Level 6 (equivalent to Higher) through classroom and work based learning. The courses take place between 1:30pm-4pm/5pm (excluding travel time) and pupils can start in S4 or S5 giving you the option to decide when is best for you.

Pupils can embark on a variety of Foundation Apprenticeships with East Lothian Council:

  • Accountancy
  • Business Skills
  • Scientific Technologies
  • Scientific Technologies Direct Entry (S6 pupils only)
  • Social Services Children and Young People

Edinburgh College also have a range of Foundation Apprenticeship, for S5-S6 pupils:

Whether you wish to enter employment, progress onto a Modern Apprenticeship, Graduate Apprenticeship, College or University - a Foundation Apprenticeship can benefit you!

We work with an extensive range of employers who provide pupils with the valuable industry experience:

  • Zonal - Business Skills
  • Charles River Laboratories - Scientific Technologies
  • Argyle Bridge Children's Nursery - Social Services Children and Young People

If you are interested in taking part in a Foundation Apprenticeship:

  • Information for pupils, parents and staff - Foundation Apprenticeships 2022-24
  • register your interest on for further information
  • discuss your application with your guidance teacher during course choice and applications should be completed before the Easter break
  • for more information on Foundation Apprenticeships, see the East Lothian Works' blog

Foundation Apprentice of the Year

This year, 2020-2021, Annabel Stewart was awarded Foundation Apprentice of the Year. Annabel completed the Scientific Technologies FA working with Charles River. A Scientific Technologies FA was the perfect career experiment for Annabel, landing her a job after school. The former Dunbar Grammar School pupil has gone on to work with Charles River Laboratories and plans to start a Modern Apprenticeship with the organisation. 

Jack's story

Jack left school in 2017. He really enjoyed practical subjects such as wood work and metal work but struggled with other subjects. Illness meant he spent time off school which added to his challenges.

Jack comments: “I just really wanted to get out of school and work. 

"After speaking with my guidance teacher, they put me in touch with Gary Mitchell from East Lothian Works who has helped me to create a pathway to leaving school in the right direction with a purpose." 

"Personally I don't think school is for everyone but you must be prepared to work hard whatever pathway you decide to take in order to get what you want."  - Jack


Gary proved to be a huge help transforming Jack's life around for the better, helping him to secure a plastering apprenticeship. 

Through the relationship he has developed with Gary he has been exposed to new opportunities and his work experience has really changed him as a person. Jack believes he has matured and learned the benefits of saving money. 

A role he enjoys

Jack has worked hard to transform his attitude and approach to work in a role he enjoys. He believes working with Gary was a big help in getting him to this position although recognises that his hard work has made him successful: “Gary understands and he is patient. However, he made it clear I had to work hard. He didn't make things easy for me. I had to roll up my sleeves," Jack commented.