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Traineeships are a great way to help you build your CV. That's because traineeships help you learn the essential skills that every employer wants and set you on the right path for the rest of your career!

A traineeship is an amazing stepping-stone to full-time paid work if you’re struggling to find work, or you don’t have relevant qualifications or experience. As a trainee you’ll get:

  • Work preparation training – get the skills and confidence to take the first step in your career. It may sound boring, but in reality, it’ll give you the skills you need to help you with your CV, cover letters, application forms and show you how to nail an interview.
  • Skills and abilities – you’ll have the extra boost to prove to employers you have what it takes to succeed at their company. Your employer will help you develop the skills that are most in-demand by employers.
  • Maths and English support – we’ve heard it all before, but maths and English skills are essential in any workplace. You’ll get support to gain the right qualifications which will elevate your job prospects, long-term career progression and, the best of all, your earning potential!
  • Work experience – You’ll be working alongside current employees and learn from them on the job. What’s better is you’re guaranteed an exit interview at the end of the programme with your mentor, who can provide a great reference for future job applications going forward.
  • An improved CV – all of the above will give you the right skills to put on your CV.

They give you a chance to learn more about what employers want and gain confidence right from the start. This will provide the best opportunity to find your way on the career ladder. If you want to work but are a little unsure of your skills, a traineeship could be the right fit for you.

A traineeship is a short-term opportunity, lasting between six weeks to six months. It’s a chance to get a high-quality work placement with flexible training. To get onto a traineeship, you need to be aged 16-24, unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week, have no Level 3 qualifications (those from college or sixth form), but most importantly be eager to work.

We know one of the most important things for you when looking for opportunities will be money. Unfortunately, you won’t be paid for your traineeship, but your employer may cover the cost of expenses like food and travel. They’ll also cover the cost of any qualifications you complete on your course, and there may be a job opportunity at the end of it.

Even if you aren’t offered a role at the end of your experience, you’ll leave with extra qualifications, great work experience, connections and a great reference to add to your CV.


As a trainee, you'll enjoy education and training programmes built by employers to help you get 'work ready'.


Where can I apply for a traineeship?

If you are still in full-time education, speak to your careers adviser or teacher and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. You can also apply for traineeships with many employers directly, and you can find lots of traineeships on the GetMyFirstJob website.

You can search for traineeship opportunities here:

When can I apply for a traineeship?

Applications for traineeships are open throughout the year. Some employers only hire at certain times, but as the programmes are quite short, most employers hire different groups of trainees across the year.

Do I get any qualifications with a Traineeship?

The qualifications you receive at the end of your traineeship all depends on what training provider and employer you do your traineeship with, but you’ll definitely get something!

Most trainees will receive a Level 1 Award in Employability Skills on completion of their traineeship – which will show off your skills in customer interactions, working as a team, problem-solving, and time management. If you haven’t achieved any GCSE qualifications, you will also be able to work towards vocational qualifications such as the Level 2 Functional Skills in English and Maths.

Your employer might also give you other qualifications too depending on who you do your traineeship with. For example, some trainees could leave with a forklift truck operating certificate whereas others could leave with Google badges for digital marketing!

What’s the difference between work experience and a traineeship?

With work experience, you won’t get any qualifications or work preparation training and it may not be as structured as a traineeship. A traineeship will give you the opportunity to go to workshops detailing CV writing, constructing a cover letting, completing applications for jobs and interview preparation.

What’s the difference between a traineeship and an apprenticeship?

Traineeships are a lot shorter than an apprenticeship and are much more focused on work. With a traineeship, you only work towards functional skills qualifications and work preparation qualifications. Whereas in an apprenticeship you do these, and industry-focused qualifications – at a variety of levels. You also don’t get paid as a trainee, but you can as an apprentice.

Can I choose a specific area to work in?

There are many areas you can gain experience in, ranging from Business Administration and Events to Hospitality and Education Support. It's better to be flexible about your interests and you don't have to pick a placement depending on one specific area. It’s good to keep your mind open to a range of opportunities!

Does it cost me anything?

Though you won't be paid during your traineeship, an employer may choose to cover some costs, such as your food or travel. Additionally, you may be able to apply for funding with the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, but this depends on your circumstances.

Do I get paid to do a traineeship?

No. You won’t be paid for a traineeship, but some employers will cover the cost of expenses such as food and travel!

Will I get a job at the end of the traineeship?

A job is not always guaranteed at the end of a traineeship. However, some employers may use it to identify people who would eb suitable for their apprenticeships. If you’re not offered a job at the end of it, you will still have gained valued skills which will prepare you for your career.

Are traineeships recognised by employers?

Employers do recognise traineeships as a valuable scheme. Many exciting, large businesses are now using traineeships as part of their recruitment process to find those best suited to the roles on offer.

How long does it last?

Each traineeship length varies, though they can last anywhere from six weeks to six months and are often flexible depending on your circumstances, such as if you have a part-time job.

Remember traineeships are created by employers, so you know you’ll be getting the skills and experience that employers really want.

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