Comhairle Welcomes Exam Results and Details Apprenticeship Opportunities

Exam Results

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 2019 SQA exam data, released today, indicates a positive outcome for the young people of the Western Isles.

Pass rates for those achieving National 5 in S4 have increased by 1.2% to 87.8%. Passes at Higher for S5 and S6 pupils in Western Isles schools increased significantly by 2.4% in 2019 to 78.6%. Advanced Higher results show a small decrease in the number of presentations and passes compared to a peak in 2018 but remains higher than in previous years.

Across the authority, at all levels, there were 2,959 presentations and 2,532 awards in 2019, representing an 85.57% pass rate, representing a 1% increase on 2018 with the same number of presentations.  Education officers and school staff are currently analysing each school’s data to identify areas of strength and areas for development.

Results will be reported to the Education and Children’s Services Committee in September. Any parents or pupils involved in this year’s examinations, who have queries regarding the results, should contact their local school directly. 

Students can also contact and get support in the following ways: 

Further information about the qualifications system, attainment and achievement, is available on the National Parent Forum of Scotland website (») (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).

The authority appreciates the hard work of teaching staff and pupils and would also like to thank administrative staff in schools for their diligence in processing SQA data.

Student Supports

The Comhairle congratulates all those students who got the results they wanted or required for their next programme of study or employment. For those students who did not get the results that they hoped for, the Comhairle encourages them to contact their local careers officer or the Comhairle’s Education and Training Section The Comhairle recognises the wider achievements of students, beyond the SQA results, in areas of applied learning, sport, culture, heritage and community service.

The Comhairle would remind all students and parents of the many pathways available to young people in order to progress in their studies and access their chosen career. Increasingly, young people are looking for post-school opportunities to learn and earn. In order to provide these opportunities, the Comhairle has invested in a wide range of Foundation, Modern and Graduate apprenticeships.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Following an extensive Recruitment Drive, 50 Foundation Apprenticeships have been recruited across the Western Isles.

  • 4 Business Skills
  • 9 Engineering
  • 3 Food and Drink
  • 19 Social Services and Young People
  • 6 Social Services and Health Care
  • 9 Creative Media – 5 Gàidhlig/4 English - This will see the very first Gàidhlig Foundation Apprenticeship in this framework.

The month of June 2019 saw the Foundation Apprenticeship undertaking an Induction month that covered industry specific training workshops in areas such as:

  • GDPR/Confidentiality/Data Protection
    • Health and Safety
    • Team Building
    • Communication

All apprentices enjoyed site visits in their chosen framework, getting the opportunity to talk to those who work in the industry, get an idea of what jobs would be available when they finish and what their career pathways would be.

Modern Apprenticeships

The Comhairle currently supports over 80 Apprentices from SVQ level 2 through to masters level - there are still opportunities for young people to gain employment in routes driven by economic needs, such as Business Admin, Child Care, Mechanics and Social Care. Apprentices are gaining qualifications in high level accreditation that ensures progression pathways are available to all.  This can be seen in the areas which the Comhairle is currently supporting, such as Community Learning & Education, Events Management, Finance, Heritage, Human Resources, Media and Social Work.

In addition, all apprentices are given the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in Gàidhlig.  The Comhairle has been delighted with the support received from Bòrd na Gàidhlig through the GLAIF Fund (Gaelic Language Act Implementation Fund).  This has ensured that all apprentices are offered lessons at their individual skills level.


  • If you are interested in discussing the career possibilities and apprenticeship opportunities at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, please contact the Accredited Training Team
  • Skills Development Scotland 01851 708900/08081008000

Our Message

Chairman of the Education, Skills and Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Angus McCormack, said: “Through the support and technology offered within e-Sgoil and colleges/universities offering distance learning accreditation, the opportunities to live and gain high level qualifications locally is now possible. The Outer Hebrides has an abundance of work opportunities. 

“Through the Developing the Young Workforce, the Comhairle is dedicated to ensure all young people are given the opportunity to live, train and perhaps most important of all; earn locally.   This can be achieved in their chosen profession and the Accredited Training Team is here to support individuals to meet their career aspirations.

“Our message is very simple - if you are interested in taking up an apprenticeship with the Comhairle, please come and talk to us to discuss the options.”