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What are traineeships?

Traineeships let young people aged 16 to 24 build the skills they need to start a job or apprenticeship. They are short, flexible programmes which are designed to include a mix of essential skills and work experience which might not have been gained in school, but which employers look for in their workforce.

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What happens on a traineeship?

Traineeships mix structured hands-on work experience with English and maths support if you need it. They can be as short as 2 weeks or as long as 6 months. However, they should always help a trainee build their skills and get ready for an apprenticeship or job. This might include helping to put together a CV, filling out application forms or improving interview skills.

A work placement is a valuable part of the programme and an employer has to provide at least 100 hours of meaningful work experience over a maximum of 6 months. This should include coaching and mentoring with regular feedback on progress.

What do traineeships cost?

All training costs are covered by the government.

Already have work experience?

If you already have enough work experience, you might be ready to go straight into a construction apprenticeship.


Entry requirements for traineeships

Traineeships are a great way of getting your career in construction off the ground. They give you work experience and help you with your academic skills.

To be eligible for a traineeship you must:

  • Be eligible to work in the UK
  • Be unemployed and have little or no work experience
  • Be aged between 16 and 24
  • Have no qualifications above GCSE level (or equivalent)
  • Be motivated to work

What’s the difference between a traineeship and an apprenticeship?

Unlike an apprenticeship, a young person on a traineeship is not employed by the company who offers them work experience. This means that the employer does not have to pay the trainee, although employers are encouraged to assist with any travel costs and meal expenses. Young people on a traineeship can still claim Universal Credit.

Like an apprenticeship, some time will usually be spent in college or with a training provider.

Traineeships are usually made up of 7 hours employment and 6 hours structured learning; making 13 hours per week in total. Some Trainees may spend all 13 hours on work experience if they already have qualifications in English and maths. Apprentices are expected to work at least 30 hours per week.

A Traineeship is a good way to prepare for an apprenticeship or job.

Finding a traineeship

You can find traineeships in many places and it's worth looking on the websites of construction companies you're interested in working for.

Search for a traineeship:

  • Find a traineeship in England on Gov.uk. Search by postcode or call them free on 0800 015 0400 for more details.
  • GOV.uk has more information on traineeships including advice on where to look for them.
  • Free2learn sometimes offers free construction traineeships and help with qualifications if you meet their requirements.
  • Hotcourses helps with tracking down courses all over the UK. Just search for 'traineeships' on their site to get started.

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