The UK’s very first occupational traineeship has been launched in construction. The all-new sector-specific traineeships will provide a bridge between further education and employment, helping more learners move into construction.  

Over two-thirds of trainees get a job, take up an apprenticeship or go on to further study following completion of a traineeship. The new approach to traineeships will get even better results, and it could provide you with the perfect stepping-stone to landing your dream job.

Here we will explore what traineeships are, the benefits they offer to young people and employers, how to get involved in the new construction programme, and why it could be ideal route into an exciting career.

What is a construction traineeship?

A construction traineeship is designed to give young people the skills and confidence they need for the world of work. Traineeship programmes can last between 6 weeks and 12 months, and focus of developing vital employability skills, alongside additional maths, English and digital skills, combined with a work placement lasting a minimum of 70 hours. This is achieved through a combination of onsite experience and classroom learning.

On completion of a traineeship, many go straight into working in construction or take up an apprenticeship. In fact, the experience gained allows many to fast-track their careers, through completing their apprenticeship quicker as a result of prior learning covered in the traineeship programme, or bolstering their CVs with valuable construction work experience.

To be eligible for a construction traineeship you must:

  • Be eligible to work in the UK
  • Be aged 16 – 24 (or 16 – 18 in Wales)
  • Be unemployed and have little to no work experience
  • Have no qualifications above GCSEs (or equivalent)
  • Be motivated to work.

You can find out if a construction traineeship is right for you here.

When will the construction traineeship programme start?

The original traineeships programme was introduced back in 2013, and extra funding was pumped into the programme in 2019 which increased the participation rate amongst employers and young people. Typically, traineeships are broad and offer a taste of the wider construction industry, covering a range of disciplines.

However, this new sector-specific approach will lead to more tailored programmes. The new traineeships will be set around specific occupations, such as carpentry or joinery, and link into an apprenticeship or job in that particular field.

The construction-specific traineeship programme has its first pilot in June 2021, with others following later in the summer. Applications are now open on the government’s traineeship portal. Alternatively, you can find a construction traineeship by:

  • Asking your local college or training provider if they have opportunities
  • Speaking with your school careers advisor if you’re 16 – 18 years old
  • Speaking to your Jobcentre Plus adviser if you’re in receipt of benefits.

Which traineeships will be offered?

The initial traineeship is in bricklaying, a trade with an acute skills shortage, with the pilot taking place at Hartlepool College for 20 learners. This is being viewed as a springboard for other occupations to follow soon after, and the bricklaying traineeship will likely spread to colleges across the UK following completion of the pilot.

Make sure to keep checking our traineeships page for any updates.

Help for employers

As well as expanding the skillsets and work experience of young people, construction traineeships are extremely beneficial to employers too. Employers benefit from young people willing to learn and helping them on site, and many trainees go on to become apprentices or even work full time for their traineeship employer.

Additionally, employers receive a grant of £1,000 for each trainee they take on, provided they are given a minimum of 70 hours work experience. As part of the construction traineeship programme, this payment will increase to £2,000, making it in line with apprenticeship completion grants. This incentive is designed to help employers with administrative, PPE, extra equipment, etc. costs incurred while providing the training. This ensures employers and trainees alike both benefit from the construction traineeship scheme.

Find out more about construction traineeships

To find out more about construction traineeships, head to Go Construct’s resources on what’s included in a traineeship and the differences between traineeships and apprenticeships.