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What is a Traineeship and how can my child find one?

Traineeships are part of the same family as apprenticeships and are for young people who want to work, but need extra help before starting an apprenticeship or job. Traineeships will include a substantial work placement and other opportunities to develop the skills and workplace experience that employers require.

Traineeships can last up to a maximum of six months with the Trainee usually spending time at a training centre or college before starting a work experience placement with an employer. The content of a Traineeship is tailored to the individual needs of the young person.

The ultimate goal of the training provider or college running the Traineeship is to move the trainee into an apprenticeship on the completion of their programme.

Please note that the Government has announced that traineeships will no longer be funded as a National programme after August 2023, however some local providers may decide to continue to offer them.

Who are Traineeships for?

They are aimed at young people who:

  • aren’t currently in a job and have little work experience, but who are focused on work or the prospect of it;
  • are 16-24 and are qualified below a full Level 3 qualification (Careerpilot has a table of all qualifications by level);
  • providers and employers believe have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within six months of engaging in a Traineeship.

A young person can choose a Traineeship at 16 as they are recognised as a valid education option (now young people have to be in some form of education or training until they are 18). This also means that parents can continue to receive Child Benefit and tax credits whilst their child is taking part in a Traineeship

Are Trainees paid?

Traineeships are unpaid. However some colleges and employers pay a training allowance or may cover other costs such as travel or lunch during the work placement. Your child might also qualify for financial support, including the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

What do Traineeships offer?

A Traineeship will offer:

  • work preparation training, covering areas like job search, CV writing, interview preparation and interpersonal skills. This can include accredited qualifications such as, Employability or sector based qualifications.
  • English and Maths qualifications - these are seen as crucial employability skills
  • a high quality work placement to give the young person meaningful work experience and develop workplace skills

How long will they last?

A maximum of six months. The work placement will be at least six weeks and no more than six months.

What do trainees and employers say about them?

  • 94% of employers consider Traineeships to be an effective way of increasing young people’s chances of finding paid jobs and apprenticeships;
  • Four in five trainees (80%) said that the support they received during their work preparation training had helped to improve their job search;
  • The majority of employers (84%) said that they offered trainees an interview at the end of the Traineeship, and most employers offered an interview for a real position (75%).

How can my child find a Traineeship?

There are three options available to find a Traineeship:

1. Find a Traineeship on the government website

The site explains more about Traineeships and how to find one.

Linked to the apprenticeship vacancy site, the Traineeship registration process is exactly the same and young people can use the same login details when searching for both an apprenticeship or Traineeship opportunity.

2. Through training providers and colleges

Many training providers and colleges advertise their Traineeship programmes but do not always advertise the employer led work placement vacancies (which are found on the site). They do this because they like to be led by the young person’s preferences before securing the employer placement. This ensures the programme is tailored to their needs. Therefore it’s a great idea for you to contact your local college or training provider to see if they are offering Traineeship programmes. 

You can find all the colleges and quite a lot of the training providers in the South of England by following this link to Careerpilot.

3. If you are 18-24 years old and in receipt of benefits and want to consider a traineeship speak to your Jobcentre Plus adviser

Further support can be found by contacting the National Careers Service through their website or call 0800 100 900.

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