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The centrally funded and managed Traineeship Programme consists of work experience and English, Maths, ESOL or Digital Skills, along with job preparation such as CV-writing tips and advice on how to prepare for an interview.

This means that learners can concentrate on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to enable them to progress on to further learning, Apprenticeships or into work.

Research published in June 2019 by the Department for Education showed that Traineeships are having a positive impact on learners. The Traineeships Impact Evaluation found that participating in a Traineeship increased the probability of a learner being on an Apprenticeship, in further learning or in another job within 12 months of starting a Traineeship.

What is a Traineeship?

Traineeships have four core elements:

  • Work preparation training, focusing on the employability needs and skills such as CV writing, interview preparation, job search and personal skills.
  • A high-quality work experience placement to help the young person develop the skills needed in the workplace.
  • Where needed English, Maths, ESOL or Digital Skills.
  • Flexible vocational learning and qualifications linked to an occupation or employment opportunity.

Why have Traineeships been developed?

Traineeships are an integral part of the Government’s plans to tackle youth unemployment. They are designed to give young people the skills, qualifications, experience and behaviours that employers look for when recruiting for apprenticeships and other jobs.

A Plan for Jobs 2020

As part of the response to the COVID 19 pandemic Government has expanded the number of Traineeships available including introducing incentive payments to employers of £1,000 per learner where new work placements are made available.

Traineeships – Framework for Delivery

Who are Traineeships for?

They are intended for young people who:

  • are not currently in employment and have little work experience, but who are focused on work and the prospect of it
  • are aged 16-24 and are qualified up to a full level 3
  • have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within six months of the Traineeship.

Traineeships are intended to last between six weeks and six months. There is a high degree of flexibility in the way Traineeships have been designed to allow providers and employers to tailor Traineeships to the needs of individual Trainees and local employers.

Although Traineeships are built around several of the same principles as apprenticeships, Traineeships are not jobs so the work experience element will be unpaid.

How do I use Gateway Qualifications qualifications in a Traineeship programme?

Gateway Qualifications will work with you so you can support your learners to help them boost their skills, confidence and ultimately find sustained employment, all through the delivery of high-quality training.

  • We have a range of vocational qualifications which have been designed to help learners take the step from education to the workplace, through building the transferable skills and core attributes that businesses across all sectors are looking for.
  • Our suite of Employability Skills qualifications ensures learners are able to present themselves correctly, work in a team, solve problems, follow instructions and manage their time.
  • We also have bite-sized English and Maths qualifications which are ideally suited to building up learners skills in these areas, and which can be combined to cover the subjects and levels the individual learner needs.
  • Our ESOL Skills for Life suite of qualifications and units can be utilised to support your learners’ English skills
  • For learners aged 19 years and over with no or low digital skills our Essential Digital Skills Qualifications can be included in your traineeship offer.  For younger learners we have a range of other digital qualifications that include digital skills for life and work that support your trainees
  • The Gateway Assured Skills Passport is a scheme developed as part of the new Gateway Assured offer. Particularly suitable for use within Traineeships, the Gateway Assured Skills Passport can be used alongside approved training packages to record evidence of the knowledge and skills trainees have acquired over a period of time, as well as providing trainees with an opportunity to record their action planning, review and evaluation.

Find out how one provider uses a combination of short vocational and employability qualifications to ensure trainees are motivated and able to achieve successful outcomes.

How to build a successful traineeship programme


For more information about Traineeships see:

Traineeships: Guidance from ESFA

Traineeships information and resources on the Amazing Apprenticeships website

Contact us to discuss how we can build a Traineeship curriculum that meets your learners’ needs.