School leavers’ options: traineeships

An overview of traineeships, one of the school leavers’ options for those students who still need a bit of a boost.


Traineeships are ideal for school leavers – in fact, all young people aged 16 to 24 – who want to get a job but are still lacking some of the essential skills and experience that employers are looking for. If any of your students are in this position, then these could be the perfect programmes for them.

A traineeship is an education and training programme that incorporates work experience, preparing young people for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’.

Designed for people aged 16 to 24 who do not yet have the appropriate skills or experience, traineeships provide the essential work preparation training, English, maths and/or work experience needed to secure an apprenticeship or employment.

A traineeship is made up of three core elements:

·      A high-quality work experience placement with an employer

·      Work preparation training, provided by the training organisation

·      English and maths support, if required, provided by the training organisation

Traineeships last anything from a number of weeks up to a maximum of six months, with the content tailored specifically to the needs of the business and to the young person on the programme.

Employers are not required to pay trainees for the work placement and traineeships are exempt from the Minimum Wage. Young people taking part in traineeships will be undertaking education and training and some may qualify for financial support, including the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

The government is encouraging employers to provide trainees with financial support to meet their travel or meal costs, but not all employers will comply.

Those school leavers who have been unsuccessful when applying for an apprenticeship or any other position of employment, due to a lack of skills and experience, are most likely be good candidates for a traineeship.

If any of your students are interested in taking up traineeships, they can find opportunities are advertised regularly on the government’s find a traineeship website.

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