19 Mar 2021

Adopt An Apprentice campaign in Scotland

In response to the impact the pandemic has had on all aspects of the economy, education and society, particularly with young people being disproportionally affected, Skills Development Scotland has launched a national campaign encouraging employers to retain and recruit apprentices in Scotland. 

The campaign aims to demonstrate that apprenticeships are a proven way for employers to develop talent and gain real business benefits and can be part of the solution to provide employers with the skills they need to adapt, sustain and strengthen their business.

What is Adopt An Apprentice?

Adopt An Apprentice scheme is a financial incentive for Scottish employers to take on an apprentice who has been made redundant as a result of the pandemic.

The Adopt An Apprentice Programme was introduced by the Scottish Government to support Modern and Graduate Apprentices who had been made redundant as a result of the economic downturn. A one-off grant is made available to employers who employ a redundant apprentice to enable them to complete their training. The employer is required to “give an undertaking to employ the apprentice for the duration of the remaining period of the apprenticeship”. The Scottish Government has now increased support for apprenticeships by offering a grant of £5000 to employers who employ Modern and Graduate apprentices who have been made redundant.

Why Adopt An Apprentice?

Adopting an apprentice can have benefits for you, your business and the local economy:

  • Get £5000 in financial support to help cover wage costs, support skill development and/or mentoring for employing a redundant apprentice
  • Modern and Graduate Apprentices are the secret to building a skilled, motivated workforce – backed by industry-recognised qualifications and highly structured training
  • Help a young person when they need it most – help a Modern or Graduate Apprentice to complete their training for their apprenticeship
  • Adopt An Apprentice covers all sectors
  • You can plug skills gaps and build your future workforce at the same time
  • Apprentices can answer your business restructuring needs, whether you’re developing or downsizing your staff
  • Do your bit for the local economy in Scotland

Who can apply?

This scheme is applicable to Apprentices who have been made redundant by the outgoing employer on or after 1 April 2019 and they must be employed by the replacement employer no earlier than 13 October 2020.

Eligible apprentices:

  • All Modern Apprentices who are made redundant by their employer as a result of the pandemic.
  • There are no age restrictions.
  • Proof of redundancy must be supplied by the apprentice, e.g. P45 or official letter of redundancy.
  • Evidence of the circumstances which brought about the redundancy must be provided to the training provider
  • An application form for the grant must be completed and submitted to Skills Development Scotland (SDS) who will respond within 14 days of receipt of a completed application form.
  • If approved, payment of the grant will be made as soon as possible thereafter.

How to apply?

Once a new employer has been identified enabling the redundant apprentice to continue their apprenticeship, and where that employer is committed to employing the apprentice for a minimum of 12 months, the chosen training provider must create a new assignment and complete the AAA application form on Funding Information and Payment System (FIPS) on behalf of the employer.

It should be used to support an Apprentice with employment for a minimum of 12 months or until the Apprentice successfully completes their designated apprenticeship, whichever period is shorter.

A training provider must apply on behalf of either the outgoing employer or the replacement employer to the Adopt An Apprentice programme.  For Apprentice Electricians, you should contact SECTT on 0131 445 5659.  To Adopt An Apprentice from any other discipline, such as administration etc, you can search for a training provider on or call the Adopt An Apprentice employer helpline on 0800 783 6000.

After the application has been approved, the employer will be eligible to receive the one off grant to help towards supporting the redundant apprentice continue their apprenticeship and work towards their qualification. The financial incentive available is £5000, and this can be used to support a Modern Apprentice or a Graduate Apprentice. 

The Adopt An Apprentice Programme is intended to be open for applications to be received by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) by 5pm on 25 March 2021, however Scottish Ministers reserve the right to withdraw, amend or extend the Adopt An Apprentice Programme, including amending the funding levels, at any time. SDS will post any related statements and information on its website in such an event.


Employers should be aware that in the event that an employer is subsequently forced to make a recruited 'redundant' apprentice redundant, then the employer is required to repay the full grant to Skills Development Scotland.


For further details about the scheme, please see the Skills Development Scotland Adopt An Apprentice Programme information.


For more information about our national apprenticeships, visit our website: