Shared Creative Modern Apprenticeship Pilot Programme

Since 2014 Applied Arts Scotland (AAS) have actively researched, queried and explored apprenticeships in the craft sector. 

This is driven by the Board’s response to our 2014 Craft Sector Survey in which respondents expressed an interest in apprenticeships and internships to build capacity in the small businesses that make up the sector and as an alternative pathway into the sector for young people.

Exploring the standard models and options offered in Scotland, including Modern Apprenticeships and Internships, AAS developed a specific interest in the Shared Apprenticeship model which was missing in the mix.

In brief, our research and activity to date has resulted in the Shared Creative Modern Apprenticeship Pilot Programme across Scotland, delivery of information sharing and professional development events, and the creation of resources.

If you are a local authority, support agency, craftsperson or crafts business  interested in offering a shared creative modern apprenticeship opportunity in your area please contact us,

Corrina at Highland Print Studio

With the financial support and expertise of colleagues at Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Creative Scotland we will continue our invaluable research this year. In 2019 we will:

  • Pursue Shared Creative Modern Apprenticeship programmes with host organisations and partners who have expressed an interest in realising this opportunity in their area
  • Evaluate our Shared Creative Modern Apprenticeship Pilot Programme
  • Produce a dissemination event, with the support of Creative Scotland, to share our learning, findings and resources with Creative Scotland staff to encourage taking forward research into apprenticeships and shared apprenticeships in the wider creative industries

The Story So Far

The primary focus of our research and activity to date has been the pilot of six Shared Creative Modern Apprenticeships across Scotland from October 2014 – present.

During this time we have:

Our six pilot Shared Creative Modern Apprenticeships are:

Host Organisations
Creative Modern Apprenticeship
Training Provider



MA SVQ 3 Skills  for Craft Business at SCQF Level 7

Fife College




MA SVQ 3 Skills  for Craft Business at SCQF Level 7

Fife College




MA SVQ 3 Skills  for Craft Business at SCQF Level 7

Fife College




MA SVQ 3 Community Arts Management (Creative and Cultural) at SCQF Level 6

City of Glasgow College

2015 /2016



MA SVQ 3 Skills  for Craft Business at SCQF Level 7

City of Glasgow College




MA SVQ 3 Creative and Digital Media at SCQF Level 7

Dundee & Angus College


Information Sharing and Professional Development Events

At three information sharing and professional development events we’ve shared our learning with and for the craft sector. The events’ aims were to:

  • Support and encourage sole traders and companies considering the role of apprenticeships within their business to take this forward
  • Answer sole traders’ and companies’ questions about apprenticeships
  • Continually gather feedback from sole traders, companies, local authorities, stake holders and education institutions about apprenticeships within the creative industries, specifically the craft sector

The events’ content and engagement developed as our learning developed, for example, considering internships to developing new approaches to shared modern apprenticeships. Our three events and associated resources are detailed below.

Work Based Learning in the Creative Industries, 2018

Our latest event with SDS and Creative Scotland, at Codebase Stirling in October 2018, explored work based learning routes in Scottish creative businesses from a number of perspectives – the importance of apprenticeships to businesses, deeper engagement, potential barriers, developing new approaches and considering its future.

Hosted by Helen Voce, Independent Project Manager in the Creative Industries and Advisor to AAS, speakers included:

  • Karen Nimmo, Sector Development Manager at SDS
  • Carol Sinclair, Chair of Applied Arts Scotland
  • Janine Matheson, formerly Director of Creative Edinburgh
  • Holly Wesley, Modern Apprentice – Community Arts Management
  • Kirsteen Allison, Equalities Executive at SDS
  • Colin Gunning, Curriculum Leader Creative Industries, Hospitality and Tourism at Forth Valley College
  • Martin Boyle, Head of Creative Industries, Hospitality and Sport at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
Work Based Learning in the Creative Industries Event, Codebase Stirling, October 2018

Getting Your Foot in the Door: Gaining Internships and Developing Your Creative Network, 2015

Our second event with The Glasgow School of Art Career Service [INSERT LINK], in Glasgow in March 2015, looked at where to find and how to secure internships and the impact they can have on your creative business. It also explored how to build your networks and overcoming barriers to internships.

Hosted by Andy Robertson [INSERT LINK], Textile Artist and former AAS Board Member, speakers included:

Taking On An Intern: How to Clone Yourself and Grow Your Craft Business, 2015

Our first event with Business Gateway [INSERT LINK] and Creative Scotland, in Edinburgh in February 2015, was for professional craftspeople and makers. It explored where to start with taking on an intern or apprentice.

Hosted by Will Levi Marshall, designer / ceramicist and former AAS Board member, speakers included:

Films of the speakers’ presentations can be found in the ‘Taking On An Intern’ section of our Resources.

Further Information

Further information about apprenticeships in Scotland can be found at:

With thanks to our funders and supporters:



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