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Young People in East Lothian

Many employers offer young people a foot on the career ladder by creating jobs for school leavers.

Entry level opportunities within organisations offer a great stepping stone for you to begin your journey in the world of work.  You can work at a level that provides a strong foundation for developing skills, knowledge and experience with the potential to advance in the future.

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Modern Apprenticeships are an alternative way for employers to recruit and train young people.

Modern Apprenticeships give young people aged 16+ an alternative way of gaining the skills, experience and qualifications to start a career within their chosen sector - without the need to study full-time. This is done through a combination of paid employment, on-the-job training and an accredited qualification at industry-recognised standards. In addition, Modern Apprentices also gain a number of core skills (if required) including communication; numeracy; problem solving; working with others and IT skills.

Modern Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of sectors and all have been developed by the sectors in which they will be undertaken. For example, there are many Modern Apprenticeships in retail; business administration; hospitality; finance, and many other sectors.

Benefits to You:

  • Employment
  • On the job training
  • An accredited qualification at industry-recognised standards
  • Increased likeliness of sustaining employment in later life

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School leaver Internship is an opportunity to get short term work experience. Internships can be project specific or general, offering both the young person and employer the chance to identify strengths, skills, abilities and interests which can be aligned to an opportunity within the organisation.

Internships generally last for 6 months but can be longer. Employers use internships where they have specific roles that would enable you to get a taste of the work that is carried out within an organisation. Completing an internship provides a great platform for a young person to move onto permanent Job or a Modern Apprenticeship opportunity.

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In East Lothian, there are a wide range of training organisations who can support young people with their aim of securing employment.  All of these organisations have support from employers who are willing to offer a work placement that will allow you to increase your skills, experience and knowledge of the workplace.

Many of these training organisations deliver industry related qualifications alongside the work placement and therefore ask if you have a real interest in that specific industry sector.  However, other training organisations deliver more generic qualifications like the Certificate of Work Readiness and can therefore tailor the training you need to the sector(s) you want to secure a job in.

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Edinburgh College is one of Scotland's biggest Colleges with around 20,000 students across 4 campuses in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Offering a wide variety of vibrant vocational and academic courses, Edinburgh College provides flexible learning opportunities to suit all learning needs. Whatever path you choose they offer over 900 courses from access to degree level and continuing professional development to help you achieve your future career ambitions.

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University is an option on leaving school and your teacher or career coach in school can help you find out more information on this pathway.

There are other options to consider and East Lothian Works provides young peoople with more support if needed:

  • Training courses, employability programmes and Activity Agreements 
  • Help for young people with additional support needs

Find out more on the East Lothian Works website


Rather than wait until you leave school, some young people choose to do work experience while in S4 -S6.  This provides an opportunity for you to work towards your educational qualifications while gaining real work experience and learning all the skills which employers want.

Not only is there a one week work experience opportunity, there are also other opportunities for young people to experience the world of work

  • Work experience for pupils is organised in line with the needs of each individual
  • Flexible support arrangements for work experience are available to ensure the needs and aspirations of individuals are met
  • Work experience in East Lothian is arranged for pupils and follows the guidelines published recently in the new "Work Placement Standards"

For further information on work experience opportunities available to you please speak to your teacher in the first instance.  You can also email Stephanie Kennedy, Work Experience Co-ordinator, ( at East Lothian Works or telephone 01620 827 031 for further guidance.

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Businesses from across the region post work inspiration opportunities on 'Marketplace'. Your school will be able to access these opportunities which include businesses coming in to chat about their industry and different careers, delivering employability and enterprise skills sessions and career events to name a few. Ask your teacher to register for Marketplace to find out more. 


Young people at school in East Lothian can access addidtional vocational learning opportunities alongside their regular timetable. The courses help young people gain experience and qualifications in a range of areas, helping them to move onto further education, training or employment.

Find out more about these courses HERE

Foundation Apprenticeships are being developed to create better links between young people, education and employers and to better prepare young people for the world of work.

A Foundation Apprenticeship lasts for two years and is studied alongside other school subjects (typically National 5s and Highers). Starting in fourth or fifth year, pupils get the opportunity to complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship while still in full-time education. Upon successful completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship young people can continue their studies at college or university, go into direct employment or gain accelerated entry onto a related Modern Apprenticeship.

Speak to your teacher of guidance teacher at school to find out more.

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