This information about apprenticeships applies to Scotland. NHBF Members can download free apprenticeship agreements for use in Scotland.

Support for employers when taking on Modern or Graduate Apprentices

A new Apprenticeship Employer Grant has been made available to further support employers when taking on Modern or Graduate Apprentices within their business. 

  • £5,000 will be made available for employers taking on a 16-to-24-year old apprentice, and for those aged up to 29 years who are either disabled, care leavers or Black and Minority Ethnic (BME).

  • £3,500 will be made available for employers taking on an apprentice aged 25 or over. 

Funding will be available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1 December 2020. Funding will be available for starts until 25 March 2021 or until funding levels are exceeded, whichever comes first. 

More information and application details on the Apprenticeship Employer Grant will available from early January 2021. 

Modern apprenticeships in hairdressing and barbering are offered at levels 5 and 6 (NQF levels 2 and 3) in Scotland. Apprentices must be 16 or older.

There is no beauty apprenticeship, although a range of beauty qualifications are available.

The following apprenticeships are available:

  • Hairdressing at SCQF level 5 (NQF level 2)
  • Barbering at SCQF level 5 (NQF level 2)
  • Hairdressing at SCQF level 6 (NQF level 3)
  • Barbering at SCQF level 6 (NQF level 3)

Apprentices will start at SCQF level 5 before progressing to level 6. 

Find out more about hairdressing and barbering apprenticeship frameworks in Scotland on the website. 

Finding an apprentice

You can advertise your apprenticeship opportunities free of charge on the website. You will need to create an account if you have not used the service before. 

Finding a learning provider

You will be able to find a learning provider on the website.

Learning providers can help you sort out funding for training your apprentice and will provide support to both you and your apprentice. The learning provider will organise the training your apprentice needs and make sure they are properly registered on the scheme. 

Hair colourant

Apprenticeship funding in Scotland

Skills Development Scotland will contribute towards the costs of training a hairdressing or barbering apprentice between the ages of 16 and 24. Funding levels for hairdressing and barbering can be found on the website. 

20 November 2020 update:

The Scottish Government has announced investment in jobs to provide the foundations for a strong economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19). As part of this, the FWDF (Flexible Workforce Development Fund) has been doubled to £20m for 2020/21. 

The Scottish Government announced the fund in their response to the UK Government apprenticeship levy, where it set out how it will use levy funding to support skills, training and employment in Scotland across the private, public and third sectors.

  • With greater flexibility, employers can now choose between colleges, Open University and private training provision administered through SDS.
  • The fund is in addition to apprenticeship support which all employers in Scotland can access. Visit to read about Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships.
  • Levy-paying employer can access up to £15,000 with wider access through colleges or Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in 2020/21.
  • SMEs will be able to access up to £5,000 through college and Open University training in 2020/2.
  • The fund can be used to completely cover training or to partially cover training at a higher cost.

Levy-paying employers who are interested in using private training provision administered through SDS can use the enquiry form. 

For all other FWDF enquiries, including FWDF SME fund and how to apply, please visit the Scottish Funding Council website.

Apprenticeship levy

Employers with a pay bill of £3 million or over must pay 0.5% of their pay bill into a pot to help pay for apprenticeship training. This levy applies across the whole of the UK but how the funds can be used varies between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Large employers will have a £15,000 allowance to offset against their levy payment. 

You must pay your apprentices at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices. Find out more about the NMW and apprentice rates. (Funding cannot be used to pay wages.) 

Find out more about apprenticeships in the UK  

See our FAQ for more information