Scottish Childcare Apprenticeships: Explained


The Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks in Scotland are developed by Sector Skills Councils, they consult with employers and other key partners such as Training Providers and Colleges to produce a training program which meets the needs of employers.

Modern Apprenticeships are funded by Skills Development Scotland if you are over 16 and employed within the sector, which means while you are starting on your chosen career path, you have the opportunity to work towards an appropriate qualification all whilst getting paid!

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is the sector skills council for social services in Scotland. It is a partner of the UK wide sector skills council, Skills for Care and Development. In Scotland, there are more than 70 different Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks, and they are all designed to deliver a training package around a minimum standard of competence defined by employers through SSCs. There are four different levels of Apprenticeship in Scotland:

·      SCQF 5 (SVQ 2)

·      SCQF 6/7 (SVQ 3)

·      SCQF 8/9 (SVQ 4)

·      SCQF 10 (SVQ 5)

They all contain the same 3 basic criteria:

·      A relevant SVQ (or alternative competency-based qualifications)

·      Core Skills

·      Industry specific training

The first level of qualification that you embark on in Childcare is the Social Services Children and Young People SCQF Level 7 – This level is aimed towards people that are new into the industry and are at the same level as an SQA Higher National Certificate or Advance Higher or a University awarded Certificate of Higher Education.

Completion of the apprenticeship and certification will qualify you to be recognized as a  childcare practitioner. Certification at SVQ SCQF level 7 allows you to obtain employment in a range of services across the sector.

The workforce is employed to support children and young people in several settings such as daycare services, out-of-school care and residential care. Those who work in residential childcare will study for the additional award of HNC in Social Care. Qualified learners can work with children and young people in community settings or their own homes as childminders or foster carers. You could also be employed in the private sector, local authority, third sector or the NHS. Workers engage with vulnerable children and their families who may present complex needs.

The Scottish social services workforce is large:

• One in 13 people employed in Scotland work in social services.

• There is a workforce of 191,000 people currently in paid employment.

• Of these 27% are employed by the third sector, 32% by the public sector and 41% by the private sector

SSSC labour market reports on the social services sector have found that the number of people working in the sector has risen very considerably since mid-1990s. In part this growth has been a response to Scottish Government initiatives such as the Integration of Health and Social Care and the National Dementia Strategy in the adult sector and Getting It Right For Every Child and the Early Years Framework for children and young people.

The training and development of the workforce play a critical role in ensuring the people who use social services receive high quality, effective and efficient services. Qualification development for the sector reflects the needs of employers. Regulation and registration ensure that good practice is subsequently well embedded. Helping employers and workers to meet the changing needs of service users is our overriding concern. Facilitating the development of and promoting qualifications that meet these needs will ensure that all receive a high quality, professional service. The development of a technical framework may encourage men, who are currently underrepresented in the workforce, see the value in pursuing a career in the social services sector. The sector makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy.

In the Scottish Government’s refreshed skills strategy “Skills for Scotland” published in 2010, the sector was designated as one of three high participation sectors in Scotland, and therefore a sector which is key to the country’s future economic well-being.

• Gross Value Added (GVA) generated by the sector increased from £1.62bn in 1998 to £4.19bn in 2009.

• 84% of those in employment in the sector are female.

• 79% of those in the sector have permanent contracts. The Scottish Employers Skills Survey found that 83% of Scottish social service employers have offered training to their employees in 2012, much higher than the average across all the other sectors. The social care and health sector was also more likely than other sectors to offer on the job training (76%).

For more information on Scottish Apprenticeships visit our apprenticeships page.