What training providers can expect from delivering traineeships and how to set one up.

The information below applies to all traineeships from September 2020. Current traineeship rules apply until then.


A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year (although most will last for less than 6 months).

Traineeships help 16 to 24 year olds – or 25 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan – get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they don’t have the appropriate skills or experience.

A traineeship is an excellent way to prepare young people for an apprenticeship or for entry into employment. At a time when young people face even more challenge and competition in the labour market from older and more experienced workers, a traineeship can be the step up that they need to launch their career and enter the labour market.

Working together with employers to offer high quality traineeships is an opportunity to support young people into work and help tackle youth unemployment.

Who can apply

A traineeship is for young people who are:

  • eligible to work in England
  • have little or no work experience but are motivated to work
  • aged 16 to 24 – or 25 with an EHC plan – and qualified up to level 3

If the applicant isn’t suitable for a traineeship:

Your responsibilities

When offering a traineeship you need to:

  • organise a meaningful and high-quality traineeship
  • ensure the safety of trainees during their training and work placement
  • organise with an employer a minimum of 70 hours of work experience – but no more than 240 hours of work experience for benefit claimants
  • provide work preparation training based on trainee and employer needs
  • provide English, maths and digital support if needed
  • encourage young people to participate and develop their skills
  • include optional sector focussed technical and professional qualifications to help the learner prepare for occupational standards within apprenticeships

Get support

Get support to deliver work experience for people with learning difficulties or disabilities from:

Trainees may be eligible for financial support including:

  • travel and meal costs
  • childcare costs
  • disability support
  • from their Jobcentre if they are receiving welfare benefits


More information


Published 19 October 2017
Last updated 17 July 2020 + show all updates

  1. Updated to include: new traineeship extended duration, participation widened to those with level 3 qualifications, digital skills as an option, the number of minimum hours for work placement, incentive payments and selling points of the traineeship.

  2. First published.