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What is a traineeship?

A traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience that unlocks the great potential of young people and prepares them for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’.

Designed to help young people aged 16 to 24 (and for a young person with a Learning Difficulty Assessment up to the end of the academic year in which they turn 25) who don’t yet have the appropriate skills or experience, traineeships provide the essential work preparation training, English, maths and work experience needed to secure an apprenticeship or employment.

Benefits to employers

A traineeship:

  • is short and funded by government
  • gives your current employees experience in training and mentoring
  • allows you to design a programme that suits both the needs of your business and the needs of the trainee
  • can help you increase capacity and productivity
  • can help you develop a loyal and talented workforce
  • allows you to help tackle youth unemployment
  • is a route into an apprenticeship

How long is a traineeship?

Traineeships can last up to a maximum of 6 months and will include:

  • work preparation training provided by the training organisation
  • English and maths support if required, provided by the training organisation
  • a high-quality work experience placement with an employer

One unique aspect of a traineeship is that it allows for flexibility: employers and providers will tailor the training to the trainee’s requirements, so they can get the most out of the time on their programme.

Your responsibilities

When offering a traineeship work placement you need to provide:

  • meaningful, high-quality work experience
  • a minimum of 100 hours of work experience - but no more than 240 hours for benefit claimants - over a maximum of six months
  • constructive feedback and advice to the trainee
  • an interview for an apprenticeship or job in your business at the end of the traineeship if one is available
  • an exit interview at the end of the traineeship with meaningful written feedback if no job is available

The traineeship is free to your business but you may support trainees with expenses such as transport and meals.

Designing the programme

The training provider will assess the needs of the trainee. They may need pre-employment training before starting work experience.

You and the provider will then plan and agree:

  • the days the trainee works
  • how the programme will be delivered

Traineeships are flexible. You can adjust the programme as you go to make sure you and the trainee get the most out of it.

After the programme

You should:

  • offer the trainee an interview at the end of the programme if a job or an apprenticeship is available in your business
  • provide an exit interview with meaningful written feedback if no job or apprenticeship is available

Find out more

Contact the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) on [email protected] or 08000 150 600 for advice and support on traineeships.

The NAS can help you set up a traineeship and put it on Find a traineeship.

You can contact a local training provider directly to design a traineeship. They will publicise the traineeship for you.


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