The Ultimate Guide to Funded Training in Scotland

Our Guide to Funded Training in Scotland gathers all of the most important information in one place. Find out which funding opportunities best suit your needs, without spending hours researching.

Funded Training in Scotland

Like the rest of the UK, education is compulsory up to the age of 16 years in Scotland. However, apart from that, the Scottish education system is quite different from the rest of the United Kingdom. 

It follows a decentralised structure, with with local government councils making their own decisions about how much to spend on education. Funding comes from national and local tax revenues.

Most funded national training programmes are targeted at young people aged 16-24 (even though they are open to all ages).

So the available funding is divisible into two key phases:

The 16 to 24 Education Phase

For students entering the 16 to 24 education phase, it is important to seize this opportunity to choose what you can learn and how you can learn it. 

You may choose to stay at school, go to further or higher education, take part in a national training programme, volunteer, get a job, or engage in community learning and development. 

However, academic subjects are not the only option. General and vocational qualifications are also great ways of gaining work-specific skills and qualifications.

Most young people in Scotland stay in school for these two years, with many moving into higher education at the age of 17 (rather than 18). This may be because first degree students from Scotland (or the rest of the EU) studying in Scotland do not pay any direct course fees for their first undergraduate degree.

The majority of undergraduate degrees in Scotland are four-year programmes.

The Adult Learning Phase

Adult Education includes training and further education in autonomous colleges and community learning and development provided by a range of bodies, including local councils.

Local authorities work hand-in-hand with local partners and the voluntary sector to develop and plan the delivery of community learning and development programs.

Colleges are the main providers of general further education in Scotland. They are highly focused  on skills for work and economic growth. To that end, they offer a wide range of courses to suit the needs of students and employers.

So what are you waiting for?

With so many providers, and so much information about courses, programmes and packages - in so many different places - are you finding it difficult to determine where to begin looking?

That’s exactly why we’ve created our Guide to Funded Training in Scotland!

Our guide to funded training in Scotland will help you to quickly and easily see which funding best suits your needs, without spending hours researching (we’ve done that bit for you!)

We’ve summarised what you’re eligible to apply for (based on your age and where you live), as well as the kind of funding you’ll get and whether you’ll have to pay it back. 

Download the full funding guide

Want to know if you're eligible for free, funded training? Download our easy-to-use guide!

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About the author

Dean Ehrlich is a digital content editor at

He develops content to support product and site growth. Originally trained as a lawyer, he converts jargon into human. 

Photo of Calton Hill, Edinburgh by Julia Solonina on Unsplash