Talking about tomorrow


Vocational Training

Learning by doing

Many people find the best way to learn is by doing.

Opportunities vary depending on where you live but Skills Development Scotland, the national agency funded by the Scottish Government, manages several national training programmes that improve job skills while providing work experience and in many cases formal qualifications. Some offer paid work, or allow people to study for a qualification at the same time. All of them offer opportunities that can be tailored to the particular needs of disabled young adults.

Certificate of Work Readiness

This offers training and a work placement to develop essential skills, create a CV, and build self confidence. It’s aimed at young people aged 16 – 19 but is open to anyone who’s not ready to go into work yet.

The programme is usually 10 weeks long but may vary. It’s free and participants may qualify for Education Maintenance Allowance or a training allowance.

The certificate is recognised by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and employers. It can be the first step towards a Modern Apprenticeship.

To find out more, speak to a Skills Development Scotland adviser or email through the website.

The Employability Fund

The Employability Fund is intended for 16 – 17 year olds not in education, employment or training, and over 18s who receive certain benefits.

Training lasts from a few days to 6 months, depending on the type of work, and is linked to local employers’ needs to improve the chance of a job offer at the end. It can also build the skills needed for a Modern Apprenticeship.

For advice on eligibility, speak to your nearest Jobcentre Plus. To find out more, speak to a Skills Development Scotland adviser or email through the website.

Activity Agreements

These are provided by local councils.

An adviser works with a young person to create a personalised programme of activities and training to reduce barriers to progression. The adviser supports them until a positive destination – i.e. a place in learning, training or employment – is reached.

It’s free and participants may be eligible for Education Maintenance Allowance or another training allowance.

To find out more, speak to a Skills Development Scotland adviser or email through the website.

Fair Start Scotland

This is a new employment service for Scotland, supporting unemployed disabled people aged 16 and over who need help to enter or remain in the labour market. It replaces the UK Government’s Work Programme.

An adviser creates a personalised plan to support participants into work, with pre-work support for 12–18 months and up to 12 months of additional support once someone is in work. It costs nothing to take part and does not affect benefit entitlements.

For more information contact your local Jobcentre Plus or speak to a Skills Development Scotland adviser on 0800 917 8000.

Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship lets you work and study at the same time. The Scottish Government has introduced two kinds of new apprenticeships aimed at getting young people into work.

Foundation Apprenticeships

These are unpaid and open to pupils from S4–S6 or studying Highers in college. They allow young people to combine workplace or college training alongside their other subjects. Foundation Apprentices can start a career while still at school, or progress to a Modern Apprenticeship more quickly. The qualification is recognised by many Scottish universities and colleges, so they may also move into further education if they wish.

Foundation Apprenticeships usually last for 2 years.

To find out more, speak to a Skills Development Scotland adviser or email through the website.

Foundation Apprentices may qualify for Education Maintenance Allowance.

Modern Apprenticeships

These let someone work in a paid job while receiving workplace training to gain new skills and recognised qualifications. They allow those aged 16–24 (or 16–29 if disabled) to train for jobs in a wide variety of sectors, including management roles, without having to study full time. Modern Apprentices develop expertise through on-the-job assessment and gain vital workplace skills such as teamwork and problem solving.

Training fees for Modern Apprenticeships are paid by the employer and Skills Development Scotland. Apprentices are paid at the national minimum apprentice wage or above by the employer and enjoy the same protections and conditions as any other employee.

In most cases a Modern Apprenticeship takes between 2 and 4 years to complete.

For more information speak to a careers adviser or guidance teacher, contact Skills Development Scotland on 0800 917 8000 or visit the Apprenticeships.Scot website.


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