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Frequently asked questions

Here are some answers to the biggest questions Scotland's employers are asking.

A man and woman talking while the man is at a desk.


A fantastic way to bring fresh talent into your business or upskill existing staff.

The funding differs, depending on which type of apprenticeship you choose.

  • If you take on Foundation Apprentices, there's no cost to you as the apprentice is still at school.
  • Skills Development Scotland (SDS) contributes to the costs of training and assessing Modern Apprentices. SDS pay the learning provider you choose to deliver the apprenticeship. The level of SDS's contribution depends on factors like the apprentice's age, level of qualification and sector.
  • Graduate Apprentices' learning costs are now covered by the Scottish Funding Council and Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). Funding lasts for the full duration of the programme. Graduate Apprentices will apply directly to SAAS for the funding.

Your first step is to create a fantastic vacancy. We can help you get it in front of as many people as possible.

  • If you know what you're looking for, head over to More than 31,000 people visit the site every month and you can advertise vacancies for free – it's quick and easy.
  • We can help you reach more people with your apprenticeship vacancy. Check out our guide on inclusive recruitment.
  • Need some help getting started with apprenticeships? Our team can help you create an apprenticeships plan.

There are a range of apprenticeship levels and frameworks available to you.

  • Foundation Apprenticeships give senior school pupils real experience of the world of work. They'll work towards an industry-recognised qualification while doing a placement with your business.
  • Whether you're hiring someone new or upskilling an existing employee, Modern Apprenticeships are a great solution. A Modern Apprentice is a full-time employee who'll also work towards a qualification.
  • Graduate Apprentices will work for you 80% of the time, dedicating 20% of their time to developing skills at university or college.

Learn about the frameworks available within each type of apprenticeship on

Apprenticeships are a great method of attracting fresh talent to your business. They're also a valuable way to upskill and reskill your existing employees. Here are some of the benefits:

  • apprenticeships help secure the skills your business needs
  • as an employer, apprenticeships open up career opportunities for your current or future employees
  • there are more than 100 types of apprenticeships available in Scotland – from construction to digital media
  • Skills Development Scotland will give you information, guidance and support
  • with access to a wider pool of talent, apprenticeships can diversify your workforce

Check out our range of apprenticeships support on

A structured induction process will help new starts settle into their role quickly.

  • Explain what the apprentice will do on the first day, week and month.
  • It's useful to assign new employees a 'buddy'. This is a colleague who understands their area of work, not a manager or superviser. They'll be able to answer any questions about the organisation, department or job role.
Read our recruitment guides to welcome new employees in an inclusive way.


Recruitment is a vital part of business – we'll help you do it well.

Whichever part of recruitment you're struggling with, we can help.

  • Want to learn how to find new employees? Our talent attraction section should be your first step.
  • Are you struggling to retain employees? Our Skills Management Tool will provide you with the latest advice on how to keep your staff.
  • Have you thought about widening your recruitment process? It'll help you attract more talented workers from a range of different backgrounds. Our inclusive recruitment guides will show you how to do it.

First of all, our recruitment guides will show you how to make your recruitment process as inclusive as possible.

You can also diversify your workforce by teaming up with equality organisations.

Here are three top tips to recruit more effectively:

  1. if you're not doing so already, consider recruiting internally. Promoting from within can help boost employee morale. Read our guides to succession planning and upskilling and reskilling.
  2. have you considered lowering entry levels? This'll encourage more people to apply, meaning you can run the rule over lots of candidates at the interview stage.
  3. our inclusive recruitment guides will also help you widen the appeal of your job vacancies.

Skills for Growth

A skills diagnostic service that'll take your business from good to great.

We'll work with you to understand your skills needs, create a detailed plan and guide you to the right support.

  • It's tailored specifically to your business.
  • Skills for Growth is completely free.
  • You can work at a pace which suits you.
  • Helps you drive productivity and growth in your business.

Use Skills for Growth.

Taking part in Skills for Growth will help build your employees' confidence.

  • Skills for Growth allows you to attract the right people as you'll know where your skills gaps are.
  • Our employer team will guide you to the right support.
  • We'll try to minimise your costs by giving advice on how to maximise any public sector funding.

Use Skills for Growth.

Training, reskilling and upskilling your employees

Highly skilled employees will help your business achieve its goals.

Read our guide to succession planning. We'll show you why it's important to think ahead and give you the tools to make your own plan.

Keep an eye on our funding and training page. Any funding opportunities which become available will be included here.

Although, have you thought about using apprenticeships as a low-cost way to train and upskill employees? Modern and Graduate Apprentices are full-time employees who also work towards a valuable qualification.

Our Skills Discovery Tool can help you identify learning needs within your workforce. The first part is a Role Comparison, which gives you an overview of the skills gaps in your business and helps you make a plan for change.

The second part is an Organisational Skills Profile. This highlights the areas where your organisation needs strong knowledge and skills.

  • You can use apprenticeships to develop your employees.
  • Thought about upskilling your employees with equality training? We have an Excel spreadsheet full of equality organisations who can help you do this.

Engage with young people and your community

The students of today are your employees of tomorrow. Make sure you get the first pick of local talent.

There are several ways we can help you engage with young people.

Marketplace gives you the chance to offer work placements to young people.

Through Marketplace, you'll also have the opportunity to deliver workshops and presentations. This is a free and easy way to raise awareness of your business in the local community.

As well as working with young people, Marketplace helps you engage with local schools and partner organisations.

Learn more about Marketplace.

It's great that you've recognised the importance of working with local schools. There are a couple of ways you can approach this.

  • Engage with schools through Marketplace. This is an online tool which connects schools and colleges with businesses.
  • Take on a Foundation Apprentice. You'll work with S3 to S6 pupils to help shape the next generation of talent.

The Young Person's Guarantee aims to connect every 16 to 24 year old in Scotland to an opportunity. This could be a job, apprenticeship, further or higher education, training or volunteering. It could also be an enterprise opportunity.

As an employer, you can build a workforce with the right skills and experience, while putting young people at the heart of what you do.

To get involved, why not upload a job vacancy suitable for a young person aged 25 or younger? Upload it to our Opportunity Finder – it's quick, easy and free. Vacancies will be shown on the Opportunity Finder and My World of Work.

Learn all about the Young Person's Guarantee.

Enhance your business processes

Improve efficiency and make your organisation a great place to work.

A great work culture is one that prioritises the wellbeing of employees. It should offer support at all levels with policies that encourage respect, trust and empathy.

The good news is that we can help your business create a strong sense of culture. Get in touch with our team for advice.

Mentoring is a mutually beneficial professional relationship. As part of this, an experienced employee passes on knowledge, expertise and skills to a less experienced colleague. While doing so, the mentor also develops their own skills.

Ideally, an employee's mentor should not be their line manager.

As part of our Skills for Growth service, we'll show you how to set up a mentoring scheme.

Yes, absolutely!

Our Skills Management Tool will generate a skills action plan for you. We'll ask you questions about your business, strengths and ambitions. It won't take long to complete and you can save your progress then come back to it later.

If you've completed the tool and still have questions, get in touch with our team.

We hope it's something you never have to experience. But if you do, we can help.

The Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) service can give support and guidance.

Access our PACE service.

Get in touch Call us on Phone 0800 783 6000

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday

Or tell us what support you need