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Information for Parents

What is an Apprenticeship programme?

An apprenticeship programme provides a fantastic career route for young people to develop their skills and knowledge through valuable work experience and gain a nationally recognised qualification (SVQ) on completion of the programme. Upon successful completion, qualified apprentices will move into the business with an accreditation that allows them to build a successful career in the water industry.

Our apprentice programmes typically take 4 years to complete and are centred on work based learning, where the training is directly linked to the job. In addition to developing the skills and knowledge required for the job our programmes also develop interpersonal skills such as communication, problem solving and team working are transferable in any future roles.

Apprenticeships are real alternative to going to university providing a different route to gaining a meaningful and rewarding long term career, with a company that is willing to significantly invest in training and development.  We are looking for career-focused individuals, who have considered their options and are keen to enter the world of work but also continue to learn and develop their skills. University isn’t the right choice for everyone and apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative which offer the opportunity to continue studying whilst earning a salary and gaining valuable work experience.

We have a long history of investing in apprentices, recognising the valuable contribution they make to our business. Many of our leaders are themselves former apprentices who have gone on to have a long and rewarding career at Scottish Water. Watch the video of one of our senior leaders, Mark Hunter, who started at Scottish Water as an apprentice.


Supporting Our Apprentices

We pride ourselves on the support we offer our apprentices. We invest heavily in training and development for our line managers to enable them to coach and support the apprentices in their teams.  Many of our current leaders have themselves been former apprentices and have a clear understanding of what support is required to help them develop and perform well in their role. In addition, they will work within a team of highly-skilled colleagues who will help them get most out of their programme. Our Skills Academy team have responsibility for managing all of our apprentice programmes and will ensure that through regular reviews key development milestones are achieved. If there is a college element to the programme they will receive structured learning, advice and guidance from the teaching staff which will enable them to successfully complete these elements.

Common Questions about Apprenticeships Answered

Are apprentices at a disadvantage because they do not have a degree?

Our apprenticeships provide the opportunity for a wealth of qualifications, training and experience. All of our apprenticeships offer the opportunity to achieve a Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ).  In addition to this once the apprentice has completed their programme and are working in a permanent role at Scottish Water they have access to all of the development opportunities that are available to our people. This includes support for Further Education qualifications and Graduate Level Apprenticeships, which would provide the opportunity for them to study for a degree if that meets their career aspirations. We have supported many apprentices in meeting their career goals expanding on what they have achieved on our programmes throughout their career and some have progressed to senior levels in the organisation.

Do university Graduates earn more money than apprentices?

Our apprentices are vital to the future success of our business and we want to ensure they reach their full potential. We invest heavily in our apprentice programmes as we recognise that they will play a very important part in our future. We invest over £120,000 in our apprentices over 4 years – through employment, mentors, training and further study.  As their skills, knowledge and experience develop, so will their salary.  

Are apprenticeships ‘just for the boys’?

We are committed to addressing the gender balance issue that exists in the energy and utilities sector. We recognise that by fostering a diverse and inclusive culture we can generate more creative solutions to the opportunities and challenges we face and have a better understanding of our customers. We already have a number of female apprentices working in our field-based teams who are engaged and energised by the work they do and the development that they receive. We ensure that our female apprentices have a support network available to them and a female mentor who can provide guidance and advice around working in a role traditionally held by men. We actively encourage female candidates to apply for our apprentice role and are dedicated to ensuring they have a long and rewarding career with us.