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Understanding Traineeships

Traineeships are designed for 16- to 24-year-olds who want to progress to an apprenticeship, paid employment or further study. For 16- to 19-year-olds, they’re designed to form part of the Study Programme provision.

The core content of a traineeships should consist of 3 elements:

  • Work preparation training
  • Work placement
  • English and maths


A traineeship is a flexible education and training programme with work experience that unlocks the great potential of young people. It prepares you for your future career by helping you to become ‘work ready’.

Traineeships are designed to help young people aged 16 to 24 who don’t yet have the skills or experience needed to get an apprenticeship or job.

Traineeships are an opportunity to gain real work experience and job skills, while improving your English and maths (if needed).

The programme can last a minimum of six weeks and up to a maximum of six months, with the content tailored to your individual career needs.


– Aged 16 to 24 – and for young people with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan up to academic age 25.

– Have no qualifications above GCSE or equivalent.

– Unemployed, or work fewer than 16 hours per week and have little work experience but are motivated to work.

If you have been unsuccessful when applying for an apprenticeship or other job due to a lack of skills and/or experience, then a traineeship could be for you.


– A high-quality work experience placement with an employer.

– Work preparation training with a training provider.

– English and maths if needed provided by a training provider.


At the end of a traineeship, a young person will be guaranteed a job interview if a role becomes available. Whatever happens, they will receive an exit interview together with meaningful written feedback to help them secure an apprenticeship or job with another employer.



It will give you the confidence of having operated in a real work environment and you can get your maths and English to the required level.

All this is geared towards helping you towards your next goal whether this be an apprenticeship, other work or further education.

Employers are not required to pay you for taking part in a traineeship but may support you with expenses such as transport and meals.

The work placement is a real opportunity to gain meaningful work experience. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be able to access financial support from your training provider, for example travel and childcare costs or if you need extra support due to a disability. If you are receiving welfare benefits your Jobcentre may be able to financially support you. Training costs are funded by the Government.

Employers are at the centre of a traineeship, providing you with the work experience which ensures that you are ‘work ready’ and have the confidence to take the first step towards getting a job and kick starting your career.

Employers won’t expect you to be the finished product – for them, attractive trainees are motivated young people who are committed to learning