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A few key elements need to be in place to make sure apprentices in social services have a good learning experience, according to a new research report we published on 16 November.

The research asked ‘What makes a good modern apprenticeship in social services in Scotland?’ and gathered views from apprentices, employers, assessors and training providers.

The key elements of a good modern apprenticeship (MA) identified in the research were:

  • effective employer support
  • time allocated to learning
  • access to a range of learning opportunities
  • the quality and depth of support given by the SQA Assessor and the workplace mentor.

The research also found that apprentices appreciated the opportunities that an MA offered.

Next steps

A key recommendation of the research was that we work with relevant partners to consider how best to provide support and guidance for workplace mentors, so we are developing a resource for mentors to support them in their work with MAs.

We are also creating an employer’s resource which will help them identify points to consider before taking before taking on an MA. Both resources will be available in spring 2019.


There were three phases of research between October 2017 and February 2018:

  • desk research designed to investigate the current landscape of MAs in social services in Scotland
  • a short series of individual interviews and a focus group which explored key factors affecting apprentices' learning experience
  • a survey of apprentices, learning providers and employers.

The research focused on the three MA Frameworks:

  • Social Services (Children and Young People) (SSCYP) at level 7 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
  • Social Services and Healthcare (SSHC6) at SCQF level 6
  • Social Services and Healthcare (SSHC7) at SCQF level 7.

Read the full report What makes a good modern apprenticeship in social services in Scotland? here.