Smart student

What is a traineeship?

You can expect three things from a traineeship:

  • High quality work placements – where you can learn what’s expected of you in the workplace, and develop links with local employers
  • Flexible training – in other relevant areas to help you get ready for work, such as job search and interview skills, time-keeping and team working
  • Study in English and maths (if appropriate) – employers value these essential skills very highly.


At the end of your traineeship, if there is a job or apprenticeship vacancy with the work placement host, you should receive an interview. If there isn’t a job or apprenticeship opportunity at that time, you will receive an exit interview with the employer who provided the work placement. In this interview you can discuss what you’ve learned, and how it might help you with things like updating your CV and getting into a job or an apprenticeship.

Whether you go for a traineeship or apprenticeship will depend on your age and qualifications. Read on for the basics on traineeships.

Which qualifications will you get?

All traineeships are the same level.

Who can take a traineeship?

You must be:

  • 16-24yrs and qualified below level 3
  • 16-25yrs with learning difficulties.


What sort of experience will you need?

You must be:

  • Out of work with little work experience
  • Working for less than 16 hours a week
  • Leaving school/college
  • Finding it hard to get an apprenticeship
  • Not sure you have the skills for an apprenticeship.


How long does it last?   

Six weeks to six months.

Traineeships are unpaid but most pay travel and meal costs. The 16-19 Bursary Fund may help – it depends on your circumstances whether you get it or not.