What is a Traineeship?

A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year (although most will last for less than 6 months).

Traineeships help 16 to 24 year olds – or 25 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan – get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they don’t have the appropriate skills or experience.

Who can apply

You can apply for a traineeship if you’re:

  • eligible to work in England
  • have little or no work experience but are motivated to work
  • aged 16 to 24 – or 25 with an EHC plan – and qualified up to level 3

What a traineeship includes

Traineeships are free. The cost of training is given directly to training providers by the government.

From the training provider you get:

  • training to prepare you for work, including CV writing and what to expect in the workplace
  • support to improve your English, maths and digital skills if you need it
  • sector focused vocational learning to help prepare you for your apprenticeship or job and recognition of your learning

From the employer you get:

  • a high-quality work placement of at least 70 hours
  • an interview for an apprenticeship or job if available, or an exit interview with written feedback

Programmes can be tailored to meet your needs and prepare you for what local businesses are looking for.

A traineeship is a training programme and isn’t a job. Employers are not required to pay you for the work placement, but they can support you with expenses such as transport and meals.

If you are eligible, you can maintain your entitlement to benefits whilst on a traineeship as necessary.

Along with recognition of your learning, there will be support to link you with job opportunities.

You may get:

  • expenses for transport and meals from your employer
  • financial support for travel, childcare or a disability from your training provider
  • support from your local Jobcentre Plus if you are eligible for work benefits

Find a traineeship

Find a traineeship:

  • by asking your local college or training provider if they have opportunities
  • by speaking to your school careers advisers if you’re 16 to 18 years old
  • by speaking to your Jobcentre Plus adviser if you’re in receipt of benefits
  • on the Find a traineeship page