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Construction is full of chances for people starting out in their careers, but making those first steps into work can be hard without the right experience. Traineeships let young people aged 16 to 24 build the skills they need to start a job or apprenticeship.

What happens on a traineeship?

Traineeships mix structured hands-on work experience with English and maths support if you want it. They can be as short as a couple of weeks or as long as six months but they should always help a trainee build their skills and get ready for an apprenticeship or job in construction

Luke - Trainee Site Manager | 1:06

Traineeships for young people

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. You can apply for a traineeship if you're:

  • Aged 16 to 24
  • Qualified below Level 3
  • Unemployed without much work experience

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which of the many construction careers is right for you

Did you know...


The oldest still-intact building in the UK is the Knap of Howar in Orknay. It's nearly 6,000 years old.

Already have work experience?

If you think you already have enough experience you might be ready to go straight into a construction apprenticeship. You can search for apprenticeships in your area on GOV.uk's 'Find an apprenticeship' page.


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. You might be asked to show certain information when you apply, like proof of getting Jobseeker's Allowance.

Use these resources to start your search:

  • GOV.uk's 'Find a traineeship' page. 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.

Traineeships for employers

Similar to apprenticeships, traineeships give employers the chance to build relationships in the community and train workers with the skills they need. They are designed to prepare a young person for an apprenticeship, helping ensure the apprentices the firms take on are 'work ready'.

They're also made to meet employers’ needs as much as those of the trainees so they'll be making a solid contribution to the company. Taking on trainees also gives your staff the chance to build leadership skills.  

What are the costs?

The good news is that all training costs will be paid by the government. If the trainee goes on to an apprenticeship with your company you might be able to get a grant of up to £1,500. Learn more about traineeships.

Did you know...


It is nearer to Norway than Edinburgh. Skaw is the most northerly built-up area in the UK Shetland Isles.

Your responsibilities

A company needs to commit to a few things when taking on a trainee. The work experience has to be high quality and last at least 100 hours over a maximum of six months. Some other things it needs to include are:

  • A clear list of goals agreed between your company, the training organisation and the trainee.
  • Experience related to the trainee's interests.
  • Coaching from a mentor with regular feedback.

Companies are also encouraged to help with a trainee's travel costs and meal expenses. When the traineeship finishes you should arrange an interview for a position in the business or useful written feedback to help them get work or an apprenticeship in future if a position isn't available.

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