A traineeship is a short training course that includes a work placement, lasting between six weeks and one year, although almost all are for less than six months. They are unpaid, but relevant expenses such as travel, childcare, or to accommodate a disability may be paid for by the employer at their discretion. 

What Skills Will I Learn With a Traineeship?

Traineeships will provide you with the skills and experience that employers are looking for to prepare you for entering the world of work. The main difference between traineeships and apprenticeships is that a traineeship focuses less on work and more on developing the skills needed to enter the workplace. In some respects, they are more akin to work experience than an apprenticeship. There isn’t only one correct career path to take and there are many options that are open to you. 

The traineeship will allow you to gain functional skills, including improving your CV, how to apply for jobs, and interview skills. However, traineeships will still include a work placement of at least 70 hours.

Who Should do a Traineeship? 

A traineeship is for those young people who are keen to begin work but lack the experience or academic qualifications required to get a job or apprenticeship in their chosen field. The maximum academic achievement you can have to take part in a traineeship is Level 3, the equivalent to 2 A-Level passes. In addition, you must be between 16 and 24 or 25 if you have an education, health, and care plan (EHC).

What Kind of Different Traineeships Are There?

There is a range of different industries offering traineeships, with something to suit everyone, including engineering, business, and IT.

Engineering traineeships provide high-quality work preparation training followed by a work placement and prepare young people to enter into an apprenticeship in the sector. Some engineering trainees will complete a work trial during their placement to secure permanent employment. An excellent opportunity for young people to find a pathway into work that they may not otherwise have realised was a possibility. 

The basis of a business traineeship focuses on work preparation, including assistance with job applications and mock interviews. However, the defining feature of a traineeship in business is the work placement. In addition, trainees will gain experience in business administration and customer service. Finally, they can take the chance to shadow an experienced professional.

A traineeship in IT will provide students with the skills, experience, and confidence they need to successfully enter a career in IT and the broader technology industry. In addition, IT trainees are assigned a mentor to provide on-the-job support during their industry placement. 

Mentors can be a beneficial resource and should be engaged where possible to make the most of their experience and to ask any questions that you may have. It is their role to encourage you and help you where they can, and most mentors will take this commitment seriously and assist you in any way they can. 

Are Traineeships Paid?

It is essential to understand in advance that the traineeship is unpaid. Still, the Government will completely cover the cost of your training provider. In addition, some traineeships will offer to cover certain expenses: The employer may cover your transport and meal costs; your training provider may provide financial support to cover travel, childcare, or for any disabilities; and, if you are eligible for work benefits, your local Jobcentre Plus may provide additional support.

Is a Traineeship a Job Role Like an Apprenticeship?

Unlike with an apprenticeship, the work placement aspect of the traineeship is not you performing a job role but a continuation of the training programme within a work setting. This experience will equip you with a first-hand understanding of the skills needed to operate in such a role. You will decide how to develop the necessary skills you may currently lack and whether to continue down that career path. 

Depending on the training provider, you may have the opportunity to gain a qualification during your traineeship. For example, as part of the maths and English support provided, you may work towards a Level 2 Functional Skills qualification if you haven’t achieved the necessary GCSEs.

The training provider will help get you up to speed with the essential skills to begin work. These include English, maths, and digital skills if required. However, most of the training relies on helping you get a job or apprenticeship in the field. The lessons will focus on your sector, so you will know what to expect in the role. Other training includes writing a CV and learning how to operate in a workplace.

Many people who take up traineeships have experienced difficulty getting their English and Maths qualifications. However, the help and support given toward this during traineeships are worth doing them for, even if the actual work experience part isn’t what you would like to be doing. 

It may seem like a chore to put effort into subjects you find very difficult. Still, most qualifications rely on having these as the foundation to build everything else on. 

Is It Possible to Get a Job From a Traineeship?

If there is a job or apprenticeship available, the employer will give you an interview when you complete the traineeship. If there is no open position, you will still be guaranteed an exit interview with written feedback. An exit interview can teach you vital lessons when applying for a job or apprenticeship.

An exit interview is an excellent chance to learn where you are doing well. You will also hear which aspects of your work and skills need further improvement to succeed either in employment or as an apprentice in this area. 

If you get the chance, please take it and ask any questions that you may have about your own experience of the traineeship. In addition, it is your chance to give feedback on how you felt it went. Speak honestly but civilly in the interview, even if you didn’t find it a positive experience.  To find a traineeship in your area, go to the Government’s dedicated website or visit our job board.