Traineeships are big news but what are they? 

Traineeships are big news but what are they? 

In this post Danny, one of our trainee careers advisers, takes a look at the recent announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer about traineeships, and what this could mean for you.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on all our lives and will probably continue to do so for some time to come.

One of the biggest challenges our society now faces, as we are starting to return to some sort of normal, is how to re-start the economy and keep people employed. The jobs market has taken a big hit and, unfortunately, the job opportunities available for young people may well be hit hardest. 

The more positive news is that as part of the government’s response to the economic problems caused by the pandemic and the effect that will have on young people, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has pledged to spend £111m on tripling the number of traineeships available in England.

To do this, part of the money will be spent on giving employers £1,000 to encourage them to take on trainees and the amount of money the training providers will get is going to be increased by 55%.

But what is a traineeship? And could it be a good option for you?

What is a traineeship?

How many times have you looked at a job advert and ignored it because it said ‘experience required’? Maybe you’ve looked at an apprenticeship vacancy but you don’t have the grades they want? Or have you thought you had smashed an interview, only to be told someone else had more experience than you? These can be really frustrating experiences.  Hairdressing 001

A traineeship is a training programme that includes an element of work experience. The idea is to prepare young people for their future careers by enabling them to be ‘work ready’.

Traineeships could be an ideal opportunity for young people aged 16 to 24 who are motivated to get a job but might be missing the skills, qualifications and experience that employers want. If you left school before A Level or felt that college wasn’t for you and if you’ve struggled since to get a foot into the door of the world of work, then a traineeship could be just the thing to give you the edge you need to kickstart your career.

So, what exactly does a traineeship look like?

You will have a training provider delivering the education and training part of the course and an employer who provides the work experience.

The training provider will help you prepare for work by giving you skills, like CV writing and helping you to understand what to expect from the workplace. This is often tailored to the type of work you’ll be doing on your work placement. They will also support you to improve your English and maths if you need it.

You will have a high-quality work placement of at least 100 hours to allow you to gain valuable experience of real work. They might also offer you an interview for an apprenticeship or job (if available), or an exit interview with written feedback.

Traineeships last from six weeks to a maximum of six months. Unlike an apprenticeship, employers do not have to pay trainees for the work placement and traineeships are exempt from the minimum wage. However, many will pay travel and lunch expenses for the time you are on work experience and as traineeships include education and training, you may also qualify for financial support to help you along.

Could they be for you?

So the big question is - are they worth doing? Well, according to figures from the Treasury, 75% of young people who completed a traineeship have then moved on to employment or further study within a year. Where as, 75% of 18 to 24Construction 008 year olds who are not in education, employment or training for three months will continue to be out of work and out of education for a full 12 months.

So, you can see that if you are struggling to set yourself apart from the competition, getting that vital experience from doing a traineeship could make the difference.

Update from the Prime Minister

On Friday 10 July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed school leavers on YouTube. He spoke about the fact that, despite the disruption, young people have demonstrated many skills and qualities through the last few months. You might like to have a think about the kind of skills you may have developed during your time in lockdown. Patience? Resilience? Self-motivation? Have you taken up a new hobby, or learned a new skill?

Remember that you may be asked about how you’ve used your time in lockdown in interviews for jobs or courses. Below is some advice on our website about how you can give this some thought to help you prepare:

What did you do during the coronavirus outbreak?

For more information and advice about your options, remember you can contact C&K Careers Chat on 01484 213856, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or message us on Facebook.

Good luck!


Trainee careers adviser

C&K Careers

Page updated July 2020

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