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What is the difference between traineeships and apprenticeships?

What is the difference between traineeships and apprenticeships? 

If you are looking for a career in construction, you might be wondering how best to get started. A lot will depend on your level of experience, qualifications, and career, so we have outlined the main differences between two common routes.  

Apprenticeships and traineeships are both great ways to start working in the construction industry, but they are different, and one may be more suitable for you than the other. Read on to learn more. 

As always, if you have any questions we’re here to help! You can contact us here.

What is a traineeship? 

It’s best to think of a traineeship as preparation for the working world. They are usually shorter courses that help you build vital skills which you can use towards getting a job or apprenticeship afterwards. You will spend time learning on the job and some additional time studying.  

If you have little or no experience of the construction industry, a traineeship will help improve your CV with  relevant skills. If you have never had a job before, a traineeship will give you some work experience, which is also a great way to see if a role is right for you before the full commitment of employment. 

Wondering if you are eligible for a traineeship? Read our full guide to traineeships for everything you need to know.   

What is an apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship is an extensive combination of on-the-job learning with study for an academic qualification. You are employed full-time while you study, helping avoid student debt and getting you the exact qualifications you need for a job in construction. 

Apprenticeships are incredibly diverse, which means you’re likely to find something that suits the role, or type of construction company you are interested in. Learn more about apprenticeships, including real-life stories from people who have taken them by reading our guide

How do traineeships and apprenticeships differ? 

The biggest differences between a traineeship and an apprenticeship is the pay and the length of time they take to complete.

  • Traineeships take between eight weeks to six months, unpaid with no guarantee of a job at the end.
  • Apprenticeships take a minimum of one year, and up to six years to complete. You will be paid and may be offered a job upon completion. 

Find out more about apprenticeships 

You can get advice on apprenticeships, plus details of legislation on pay and working hours from the Government. To start searching for an apprenticeship, try indeed.co.uk or use our list of current vacancies. 

More information on traineeships 

The Government also has a dedicated page for traineeships. You can begin searching for one that’s right for you on indeed.co.uk

Don’t miss our blog Who are traineeships designed for

Other options for starting a construction career 

There’s more than traineeships and apprenticeships available to you to get into the construction industry, such as university courses and T levels. We have a full list of your options for getting into construction, so you can choose the right path for you. 

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