Update: The Department for Education announced that the last start on the standalone traineeship programme will be on 31 July 2023. From 1 August 2023, traineeships will be integrated into the 16 to 19 study programme or the adult education budget, which will allow a traineeship-style programme to be developed to support young people into an apprenticeship or work.

Study Programmes

Adult Education Budget (AEB)

We have kept our previous Traineeships guidance below to assist you in creating a similar programme, but please ensure you check any planned provision meets relevant funding criteria.

The centrally funded and managed Traineeship Programme consists of a work experience placement 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, skills and behaviour 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 in the local labour market.

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 invested in and expanded the number of Traineeships available including introducing incentive payments to employers of £1,000 per learner where new work placements are made available. As part of the extra investment, the funding rate for adults was increased for 19-24 Traineeships.

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 12 months with the primary aim of employment outcomes. 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. However, employers can decide to pay the trainee and how much.

How do Gateway Qualifications support Traineeship programmes?

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.

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.