Traineeships – Employer FAQs

What is a traineeship?


A traineeship is a training programme for 16-24 year olds, combining a work placement with education. It is focused on giving young people the skills and experience needed to progress on to an apprenticeship or employment.



What are the benefits of a traineeship to my business?


There are many benefits to running a traineeship scheme, including:


  • No financial cost for your company
  • ‘Try before you buy’ – traineeships provide the opportunity for both the trainee and the employer to see if it is a good placement
  • Get the pick of the best young talent and create a pool of staff that are trained specifically to your business requirements
  • Improve staff retention – a traineeship is likely to attract young people and school leavers from the local area who will feel loyal to your business if you give them the opportunity to gain work experience
  • Traineeships are flexible so they can be tailored to meet the needs of your business and the individual
  • Can benefit your existing staff by developing their mentoring and coaching skills, which in turn makes them feel more valued and increases their investment in your firm
  • Your business image and social integration benefits by helping the young people of your local community take their first steps into employment
  • Traineeships can progress into apprenticeships so if you choose to invest in an individual, you can have a fully qualified member of staff and you may be eligible for £1,500 government funding



How long does a traineeship last?


The maximum length of time a traineeship can last is six months, although depending on the requirements of each individual, they can last anything up to this time.



What is the difference between a traineeship and an apprenticeship?


Whilst an apprenticeship is a mixture of ‘earning and learning’, where the individual is employed as an apprentice, traineeships are more like work experience. They offer the trainee an opportunity to gain pre-employment skills, such as CV writing, interview preparation and experience in the work place, and they offer employers the chance to ‘try before you buy’ to see if the trainee is a good fit for the company. In many cases a traineeship can lead on to an apprenticeship, although there is no obligation to do so.



Does a traineeship cost my company money?


Traineeships are work experience for the young person so you do not have to pay any wages, and all of the training costs are fully funded by the government.



What are the employer’s responsibilities?


To provide a traineeship placement, you will need to commit to a high quality work experience programme, which must last at least 100 days over a period of no more than 6 months. The trainee should receive a structured programme where they can engage in focussed learning activities, not simply observing other people carrying out tasks. The placement needs to be long enough for the individual to develop new skills and there should be an identified member of staff to mentor the trainee and provide regular, constructive feedback. Whilst there is no requirement to pay people taking part in a traineeship, it is encouraged to support them with expenses such as travel and food.



What happens at the end of a traineeship?


Once a traineeship has been completed you will need to offer the individual either:


  • An interview for a position in your business or for an apprenticeship, if there is a position available
  • An exit interview if there are no job or apprenticeship opportunities available. The exit interview should also be coupled with meaningful written feedback to help them find employment in the future