Be work ready: traineeships - everything you need to know
What is a construction traineeship?
A traineeship is available in England and Wales only.
A traineeship is all about preparation for the world of work. It’s a short course that offers you a chance to demonstrate your capabilities and enables you to build the skills you need for an apprenticeship or job.
Construction traineeships are a combination of learning and work experience and are a useful route into the industry, where previous work experience is valued, and sometimes essential. Read more about the difference between traineeships and apprenticeships.
Who are traineeships designed for?
Traineeships are a great way of getting your career in construction off the ground. To do a government traineeship in England or Wales you must:
- Be eligible to work in the UK
- Be aged 16 - 24 (or 16 - 18 in Wales) or over 25 with an EHC plan
- Be unemployed and have little or no work experience
- Have no qualifications above GCSEs (or equivalent)
- Be motivated to work.
If you’ve never had a weekend or holiday job, and you are struggling to secure an interview or paid position, traineeships can improve your CV with relevant work experience to boost your employability. Traineeships can also be useful if you want to try out a job before committing to it, perhaps whilst you’re studying for industry qualifications elsewhere.
What’s included in a traineeship?
Traineeships vary based on your location. In England, a traineeship can last anywhere between six weeks and a year (although they usually take less than six months).
- Essential skills which you might not have
- Employability support, such as writing CVs and job applications, plus interview practice
- Hands-on work experience to add to your CV
- Help with English and Maths (if needed)
- Coaching and mentoring.
The hours you work can be arranged with your employer to suit both of your needs. Whilst you will be required to complete a certain number of hours' meaningful work as part of your traineeship (a minimum of 70, but usually 100 hours for six-month placements) you could complete the training element of the traineeship part-time or full-time, depending on individual circumstances.
Construction traineeships may take place indoors or outdoors, depending on the type of work experience. You could spend time on-site, in a workshop, at a client’s premises, in an office environment or in a mix of all of these.
If you don’t hold at least a GCSE grade 4 (or equivalent) in English and Maths, you’ll spend some of your traineeship in the classroom, to help you raise your game and improve your employability.
Your traineeship will be structured to suit your needs as well as the needs of your work experience provider. You’ll be assigned a mentor who will check in regularly with you to ensure you’re getting the experience you need for the future.
A traineeship in Wales is structured slightly differently.
There are three levels of traineeship available to ensure you are getting the right support based on your experience.
- Level 1
- Level 2
There is also a financial allowance of up to £50 per week, plus £5 travel allowance.
For further information about each available traineeship, visit the Careers Wales website where you can find further details.
What happens after my placement?
If the company you’re training with takes on apprentices, they may interview you for a role following your placement. If they don’t have vacancies, they may provide you with a professional reference to help you apply for other apprenticeships or jobs.
Either way, you’ll be able to add your traineeship to your CV, to improve your chances of success when applying for work and impress employers with your transferable skills.
How much do trainees get paid?
In England, you won’t earn a wage as a trainee but you’ll gain valuable skills and benefit from free career support. Your employer may offer to cover your expenses for travel and meals.
In Wales, there is a financial allowance of up to £50 per week, plus £5 travel expenses, depending on the level of traineeship you are taking.
Once you’ve completed your traineeship, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to find work and start to earn a salary. As an apprentice, you’d continue learning how to do a specific job, but you’d be paid a wage at the same time.
All traineeship costs are covered by the Government under the Traineeship Programme until 31st July 2023 and under the 16-19 study programme as of 1st August 2023. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to claim additional financial support through your training provider.
How do I apply for a traineeship?
Construction traineeships are offered by employers in England and Wales. When searching for opportunities, you can look at what’s available in your area or in locations further from home.
Construction companies may list available traineeships on their websites. Talentview Construction lists opportunities in England and searching for ‘traineeships’ on Not Going to Uni or findcourses will also bring up current listings.
Careers Wales has information about traineeships in Wales.
What’s in it for employers?
Traineeships benefit employers by helping them build relationships in the community. By training young workers in specific skills, they are also able to shape and make the most of talent at an early stage.
These courses are designed to meet employers’ needs as much as those of the trainees, and offer a chance for existing employees to improve on leadership and skill sharing.
Traineeships not for you?
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