Traineeship – why it could be for you

After leaving education it can sometimes be difficult to gain an apprenticeship or full time employment because of the lack of experience and skills. Employers will typically favour someone with experience over someone with little or none, so this always makes it harder just to get started in a work environment.

A traineeship is a great solution to getting young people on the job ladder and gain the important skills required to be successful at work. Having that valuable experience for your portfolio will give you a much better chance at gaining an apprenticeship position or even full time employment.

So what is a traineeship? 

A traineeship is essentially a ‘Pre-Apprenticeship’ in that it will precede an apprenticeship or full time employment. Although apprenticeships are designed for young people to train and learn skills and qualifications for full time employment, it can still be difficult to get a placement as you may be required to have certain qualifications – like a GCSE C grade in Maths and English.

In summary:

  • It’s a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship.
  • It can last up to 6 months.
  • You can apply if you’re eligible to work in England, you’re unemployed and have little or no work experience, and you’re aged 16 to 24 and qualified below education level Level 3
  • You’ll get a work experience placement and help with English and maths (if you need it)
  • You won’t be paid, but you may be given expenses for things like travel and meals.

What can I gain from a traineeship? 

Traineeship practical skills

Traineeships give you new skills and practical work experience, both of which are attractive to prospective employers.

A traineeship is a great place to start if you are having difficulty gaining a place on an apprenticeship or if you are struggling to gain an interview for full time employment due to your lack of experience and/or skills as an employee.

A traineeship will provide you with the valuable work experience you need for your CV, along with the relevant skills an employer looks for from a worker. Valuable skills like problem solving, good organisation, time management, team working and communication are difficult to have and learn and can often only be achieved by being part of a workforce.

What if I need qualifications for an apprenticeship? 

One of the aspects that can hinder a school leaver who wants to apply for an apprenticeship is the lack of Maths and English qualifications required to be accepted. On the traineeship program you will be able to gain those necessary qualifications whilst also gaining the essential work experience and skills to transfer over to any position – whether that is an apprenticeship or full time employment.

How long will the traineeship last, and what will happen at the end? 

A traineeship will last for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months. At the end of the traineeship you will be guaranteed an interview for an available position. If there isn’t an available position the employer will provide you with an exit interview in which they will provide feedback for the time you’ve spent with them.

Will I get paid on a traineeship? 

Unfortunately you don’t get paid, which is why the traineeship scheme offers everyone a great chance to gain work experience. If you are unable to gain an apprenticeship and are struggling to get a full time job due to your lack of experience and ‘work skills’, the traineeship will allow you to not only achieve those goals but to also gain the Maths and English qualifications required.

Some traineeships however offer help towards travel costs, and some also offer Bursaries to help support you during that time. It’s easy to feel disheartened at not being paid for your hard work, but you should see this as an excellent opportunity to getting one step closer to an apprenticeship or full time employment, and there is also the possibility of being hired by the employer when it officially ends.

What if I want to leave a traineeship or get offered a job? 

If you get offered an apprenticeship or job whilst on the traineeship scheme, you can leave at any time and are not tied in to any kind of contract or obligation. For whatever the reason you can walk away at any time.

Our advice would be to ensure you stay on the scheme for as long as possible to gain those extremely important work experience skills that can only be achieved through a work environment.

What type of skills could I learn on a traineeship? 

There are lots of skills a potential employer looks for as a basic minimum before the standard qualifications or specific skills required for the role. One of the best ways to obtain these skills is by interacting and performing in a role, working with customers and other team members.

Here is a list of some of the most important skills you can learn whilst on a traineeship –

  • Problem solving and creating solutions independently
  • Being proactive – keeping busy and always looking for work and to help others
  • Creative thinking
  • Organisations skills as well as time management
  • Good communications skills and building rapport with co-workers/customers
  • Team working skills – working towards the same goal
  • Great punctuality and attendance
  • Meeting deadlines

Are there alternatives to a traineeship?

Yes – if you already have skills and experience, you might want to consider an apprenticeship or a supported internship.

What’s a traineeship like?

Watch the video and find out about Danny’s experience on a traineeship:

More information and resources:

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