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Traineeships Explained

Traineeships ExplainedA Traineeship offers work experience and employability training for up to six months. Find out if it's the right path for you.

What is a Traineeship?

A Traineeship is a combination of:

  • A work experience placement
  • Training to prepare you for the first step in your career
  • Support in maths and English, if you need it

Traineeships aren't paid, and don't provide a specific qualification, but they can help to build your skills and improve your CV, helping you to get a job or an Apprenticeship. You'll also get a reference from the company you do your work experience with, and you can expect a job interview if a position becomes available, too.

Will I have to pay for anything?

You won't have to pay for any of the training included in a Traineeship - it's all paid for by the government.

The employer you do your work experience with should help with expenses like transport. However, they aren't required to do this, so make sure you know what's covered before you start. If the employer doesn't help with your expenses, you may be able to get help through the 16-19 Bursary Fund or the 19+ Discretionary Learner Support Fund.

Who are Traineeships for?

Traineeships are for people who want to get a job or an Apprenticeship rather than doing further study, but need extra skills or experience to give them a better chance. If you are currently in work or have work experience, or if you have qualifications at A-level or above, a Traineeship is unlikely to be your best option.

Traineeships are only available to people aged 16-23.

Where to find Traineeships

Traineeships are advertised on the National Apprenticeship Service website.

The difference between a Traineeship and an Apprenticeship?

Although Traineeships are related to Apprenticeships, they are very different. Some key differences are:

  • Traineeships are unpaid, whereas Apprenticeships must pay at least the apprentice minimum wage.
  • Traineeships last a maximum of six months, whereas Apprenticeships last from one to four years.
  • You won't get a qualification at the end of a Traineeship, whereas an Apprenticeship will earn you an NVQ or similar qualification.
  • Traineeships focus on preparing for the world of work, rather than learning a particular skill or trade.

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