A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year (although most will last for less than 6 months).

Traineeships help 16 to 24 year olds - or 25 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan - get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they don’t have the appropriate skills or experience.

A traineeship is an excellent way to prepare young people for an apprenticeship or for entry into employment. At a time when young people face even more challenge and competition in the labour market from older and more experienced workers, a traineeship can be the step up that they need to launch their career and enter the labour market.

So if you have any questions about Traineeships (either as a young person, a business, or a training provider), please read our helpful guide below or contact us for impartial advice.



You can apply for a traineeship if you’re:

  • Eligible to work in England

  • Have little or no work experience but are motivated to work

  • Aged 16 to 24 - or 25 with an EHC plan - and qualified up to level 3

Traineeships are FREE. The cost of training is given directly to training providers by the government.

From the training provider you get:

  • Training to prepare you for work, including CV writing and what to expect in the workplace

  • Support to improve your English, maths and digital skills if you need it

  • Sector focused vocational learning to help prepare you for your apprenticeship or job and recognition of your learning


From the employer you get:

  • A high-quality work placement of at least 70 hours

  • An interview for an apprenticeship or job if available, or an exit interview with written feedback


Programmes can be tailored to meet your needs and prepare you for what local businesses are looking for.

A traineeship is a training programme and isn’t a job. Employers are not required to pay you for the work placement, but they can support you with expenses such as transport and meals.

If you are eligible, you can maintain your entitlement to benefits whilst on a traineeship as necessary.

Along with recognition of your learning, there will be support to link you with job opportunities.


You may also get:

  • Expenses for transport and meals from your employer

  • Financial support for travel, childcare or a disability from your training provider

  • Support from your local Jobcentre Plus if you are eligible for work benefits

Contruction Engineer

You can find a traineeship by:

  • Asking your local college or training provider if they have opportunities

  • Speaking to your school careers advisers if you’re 16 to 18 years old

  • Speaking to your Jobcentre Plus adviser if you’re in receipt of benefits

For more advice, you can either:




Q. What are the benefits to my company?

A. There are various benefits to consider, from financially to CSR, including;

  • Flexibility - allows you to design a programme that suits both the needs of your business and the needs of the trainee

  • Can be focused on a specific sector

  • Funded by the government

  • Can help increase productivity and workforce

  • Helps tackle youth unemployment

  • Is a route into an apprenticeship (find out more here) and allows you to work with young people prior to recruiting for an apprentice

  • Employers who make new work placement opportunities available may also receive an incentive payment of £1,000 per learner, for up to 10 learners

Q. What are my responsibilities? 

A. When offering a traineeship work placement you need to provide:

  • A safe, meaningful and high-quality work experience

  • A minimum of 70 hours of work experience - but no more than 240 hours for benefit claimants - over the duration of the traineeship (maximum of one year) and as agreed with the traineeship provider

  • 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

  • (Optional) you may support trainees with expenses such as transport and meals if you wish

Cutting Wood

Q. How do I set up a traineeship programme?

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

You and the provider will then plan and agree:

  • The days the trainee works

  • And 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.

To get started, contact the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) on or 0800 015 0600 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.

The paperwork you will be required to sign can be found here: - please discuss this with NAS if you require more information.

You can also download a copy of the Traineeships: framework for delivery 2020 to 2021 here for further information. 


Q. Who can apply?

A. A traineeship is for young people who are:

  • Eligible to work in England

  • Have little or no work experience but are motivated to work

  • Aged 16 to 24 - or 25 with an EHC plan - and qualified up to level 3


If the applicant isn’t suitable for a traineeship you can either:

  • Offer them an alternative course

Q. What will our responsibilities be?

A. When offering a traineeship you need to:

  • Organise a meaningful and high-quality traineeship

  • Ensure the safety of trainees during their training and work placement

  • Organise with an employer a minimum of 70 hours of work experience - but no more than 240 hours of work experience for benefit claimants

  • Provide work preparation training based on trainee and employer needs

  • Provide English, maths and digital support if needed

  • Encourage young people to participate and develop their skills

  • Include optional sector focussed technical and professional qualifications to help the learner prepare for occupational standards within apprenticeships

Q. How do we access funding?

A. The Education and Skills Funding Agency fund traineeships for 16- to 18-year-olds (and 19- to 24-year-olds, and up to age 25, with an education health and care plan) through the ESFA’s young people’s funding methodology for study programmes.

Traineeships for 19 to 24-year-olds are funded through the ESFA’s adult education budget funding methodology.


For institutions funded through the young person’s funding methodology for study programmes:


For institutions funded through the AEB funding methodology:

Q. I still require more information

A. You can find everything you need to know about Traineeships at

You can also download a copy of the Traineeships: framework for delivery 2020 to 2021 here for further information. 


The information on the page was taken from the national government website ( and was correct as of 04/02/21. The information applies to all traineeships from September 2020