Fair Work in Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships

The overall aim of this research project is to explore opportunities to embed FW principles in the Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship offer. The research will provide evidence on the applicability, relevance, opportunities and potential mechanisms/options for embedding FW principles in the Apprenticeship Family, by exploring the views of apprentices and employers/training providers on these issues. In relation to the apprenticeship role and offer, the research will:.

  • Consider if the FWFst criteria require adaption in order to be applied appropriately;
  • Identify recommendations (e.g. options, potential mechanisms) for implementation of the FWFst criteria; and
  • Identify approaches to ensure that apprenticeships remain an attractive option upon implementation.

The specific objectives of this research project are to: 

  • Design all research instruments;
  • Identify an appropriate sample(s) of apprentices, employers and training providers for primary qualitative research;
  • Recruit research participants;
  • Design and undertake primary qualitative research;
  • Analyse the resulting primary data; and
  • Produce a high-quality report of the findings.

The research participants should be selected, as far as possible, according to the following criteria:

  • A range of higher and lower paying occupations/Modern and Graduate Apprentice frameworks;
  • To include both small (SME and micro) and large (i.e. Apprenticeship Levy[1] eligible) employers;
  • Urban/rural split in terms of location of apprentice’s place of work (including employers eligible for the Rural Uplift[2]); and
  • Participants should all be aged 16 or older.


The research team includes Findlay, Lindsay & Stewart, Scottish Centre for Employment Research and Anderson, Department of Work, Employment and Organisation, University of Strathclyde.

[1] Through the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, large employers (those with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million) pay a levy to HMRC.

[2] SDS’ Rural Uplift provides additional rural funding – this is applied where the employer’s premises, where the Participant’s main employment and normal working hours take place, is based in Argyll and Bute, Isle of Arran, Orkney, Shetland, Western Isles; or in a postcode classified as ‘Remote Rural’ or ‘Remote Small Town’.