3 years ago

Introducing Traineeships

What are they, and could a Traineeship be the right option for you?

If you’re over sixteen an apprenticeship isn’t the only path open to you. There are also Traineeships, and for many people they’re the ideal next step after school or college, particularly if you’re qualified below level three (the equivalent of two A Level passes) and don’t have much work experience.

How Traineeships work

Traineeships are designed to fill in the gaps in your work experience and qualifications. You’ll work with an employer for a maximum of six months and receive:

work experience
work preparation training

You’ll also work with a training provider (a local school or college), where you’ll study English and maths to give your skills a boost – unless you already have GCSEs grades A*-C in those subjects.


Like an apprenticeship you’ll be doing a real job and getting real experience, learning about the industry and building up your skills as you go. Traineeships are available in all kinds of areas so you could be doing anything from building cars to cutting hair.

Unlike an apprenticeship, your employer won’t have to pay you, but they may well cover your expenses for things like travel and meals. Your training provider may also be able to help you with things like childcare, travel costs or any extra support you need due to a disability.

The benefits

The main benefit of a Traineeship is experience.

Employers always want to hire people with work experience, which can be tricky if you haven’t had the opportunity to get any yet. Lack of experience or qualifications can also make it tough to get onto an Apprenticeship. That’s where Traineeships come in: they get you the experience you need.

Once your Traineeship ends you’ll be in a much better position to apply for jobs and apprenticeships because you’ll have up to six months of solid work experience. Your employer may interview you for a job with them, if one is available, or they’ll help you with your next steps towards a different job or an Apprenticeship.

There are other benefits, too. You’ll improve your English and maths skills, which will be useful for any job or course you apply for in the future – and they’re good skills for life in general. You’ll also spend time working with other people, learning how to get on in the world of work (it’s pretty different to school or college) and generally becoming more confident and independent.

Is it for you?

Here are some things to think about:

Age. You need to be 16-24 to be eligible for a Traineeship
Qualifications. If you have level three qualifications or above, an Apprenticeship might be better for you
Previous experience. If you have lots of work experience or are currently working more than 16 hours a week, you probably won’t be eligible for a Traineeship. An Apprenticeship could be ideal for you, though
Enthusiasm. Like any job, you’ll need to compete with other people to get a Traineeship, so being keen and having a positive attitude towards your training will help you stand out

So, if you’re keen to get to work, are aged 16-24 but don’t have many qualifications or much work experience yet, a Traineeship could well be right for you.

Where to find Traineeships

Visit careermap.co.uk to search for Traineeships in your area. You can also look on ‘Find a Traineeship’ on gov.uk, or find a list of training providers offering Traineeships on the Skills Funding Agency website.

Find out more

If you’d like more advice, the National Careers Service can tell you more and discuss your options with you. Call 0800 100 900.

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