What is a traineeship?

A traineeship is a work placement programme designed to prepare participants for the world of work and give them a leg up towards an apprenticeship or starting role. Traineeships are available to motivated teenagers and young adults between 16 and 24, who are struggling to enter the world of work. Programmes can last anywhere between six weeks and six months and gives trainees the skills needed to be considered work-ready.

Traineeships cover three core bases:

  1. Work experience with an employer
  2. Work preparation training, provided by a training provider such as Icon Training
  3. Maths and English support, unless an individual has achieved an A*-C grade in these subjects or a functional skills qualification at level 2

In this blog, we’ll look at the benefits of training for individuals and organisations.

Why have traineeships been developed?

Traineeships are an initiative setup by the Government in 2013 in response to the raised age at which students can leave the education system and to tackle the burgeoning skills gap.

Post GCSE’s, individuals aged 16 – 17 can choose whether to stay in school, or full-time education, or do vocational training. They have four options:

  • An apprenticeship
  • a traineeship
  • Full-time education, such as school, college or home education
  • Part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering full-time

Traineeships act as a gateway into the professional working world for people who don’t have the skills or qualifications to take on an apprenticeship. Since their inception, traineeships have been considered a big success. Statistics from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show that

  • 94% of employers consider traineeships to be an effective way of increasing young people’s chances of finding paid jobs and apprenticeships
  • Four in five trainees (80%) said that the support they received during their work preparation training had helped to improve their job search.

Traineeships for individuals

Why do a traineeship?

Traineeships are a window of opportunity for people struggling to enter the world of work with their existing credentials and qualifications. Through practical experience, traineeships teach you the ins and outs of a particular industry and provide insight into the typical tasks you will be expected to undertake in full-time employment.

Many trainees go on to work in the organisation that conducted their traineeship. However, if you decide that path isn’t right for you, then you have the advantage of valuable work experience to add to your CV and a meaningful written reference.

If, prior to the traineeship, your maths and English grades weren’t up to par, you will also benefit from additional support to boost your career prospects and improve your literacy and numeracy.


Is a traineeship the right path for you?

You are suitable for a traineeship if you are:

  • Motivated to work
  • Unemployed, or work fewer than 16 hours per week and have little work experience
  • Aged between 16-24
  • Qualified below Level 3
Are traineeships paid?

Employers are not required to pay trainees during their placement as it is technically classed as education. However you may qualify for financial support, including the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund. Some employers may also support you with travel and/or meal costs.

Traineeships for employers

Traineeships act as high-quality unpaid work placements that give employees the skills to succeed in employment. A traineeship can take anywhere from 100 hours (minimum) to 240 hours over a maximum of six months, at the end of which you can choose to offer them a full-time job.

Around their practical-based placement, trainees will also undertake work preparation training with additional literacy and numeracy support if needed. This will develop their interpersonal and communication skills, whilst furthering their knowledge on skills and techniques to further themselves in the workplace.

The benefits of a traineeship programme?

There’s a large segment of the population that’s motivated to get into professional employment, but they lack the qualifications, experience or know-how. Traineeships tackle this problem, whilst enabling you to take on enthusiastic individuals whose skills can be moulded to suit your business model.

Experience shows that trainees who progress onto employment within a company remain hard-working and loyal. As time goes on, you have the opportunity to build up a workforce that is closely aligned with your values. Beyond this, traineeships have the ability to expand the skills of your existing workforce, who will be able to assist in mentoring young people.

Lastly there’s the sense of wellbeing (and not forgetting the brilliant PR) that comes with traineeships. Through your traineeship programme, you can visibly demonstrate corporate social responsibility. You can also enjoy a great sense of satisfaction in knowing you’ve played your part in improving the lives of people in your community.

Considerations for a traineeship programme

Developing a programme – If you are interested in developing a traineeship programme then your first step is to decide on a training provider. This will be the orgasation responsible for helping you develop a programme that suits your needs, matching you with trainees and providing work preparation training.

Together, you can start to plan elements like which roles you want to develop, when you want trainees to start and what days they will be with you. The programme is not set in stone and it can be changed and adapted to make sure everyone is getting the most out of it.

Cost – the period of employment is classed as education and is therefore unpaid. However, employers are being advised to support trainees in external costs like travel and food.

Next steps for a trainee – at the end of a traineeship, you are required to offer one of the following: an interview for a paid position; an exit interview to prepare the trainee for interview situations, along with written feedback to provide a support crutch for their future career prospects.

Traineeships with ICON Training

ICON Training is a multi-award-winning provider of traineeships and apprenticeships. ICON’s Active Traineeship Academy offers a unique opportunity for individuals and organisations to grow and develop.

Differing slightly to traineeships in the traditional sense, ICON works directly with partnered employers that have open vacancies. In this way, ICON can work in a more collaborative manner to ensure that both parties – the trainee and the employer – are getting the most out of the experience. Furthermore, ICON can ensure that there is a genuine opportunity at the end of the traineeship (84% of our Trainees obtain a successful progression, 2017-18).

Trainees will also complete an additional technical certificate as part of their learning, increasing their chances of successful employment

If you’re interested in a traineeship through ICON Training, then complete the following contact form and we’ll be back in touch with you shortly.

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