Traineeships were introduced in 2013 and are aimed at young people aged 16-24 years old, or young people with Learning Difficulty Assessments or Education, Health and Care plans up to the age of 25. Traineeships are designed to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to get an apprenticeship or job.

The target group for traineeships are young people who:

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

Traineeships are made up of three core elements:

  • A high-quality work experience.
  • A focused period of work preparation training.
  • English and maths if required.

More information about traineeships is available on the Education and Skills Funding Agency (Traineeships) website.

Our work

At Learning and Work Institute our ambition is for all young people to have access to high quality learning and employment programmes that enable them to develop the skills they need to make sustained transitions into employment, and build successful and rewarding careers. Since the launch of traineeships, we’ve been working with a range of partners to test out new and innovative approaches to delivering traineeships - to secure the best possible outcomes for young people. We believe that the flexibility of the traineeship programme presents a real opportunity for providers to deliver high quality and inclusive programmes, that can enable a whole range of young people to bridge the gap to apprenticeships or employment.

Find out more

'Why They Work' Videos

We’ve produced five videos which showcase how effective and engaging traineeship programmes enable young people from different backgrounds to progress into apprenticeships and employment.

Qube Learning:

Millwall Football Club:


Salford City Council:

Derby City Council:


Growing traineeship programmes

Over the last two years, many providers have grown their traineeship provision and are delivering these programmes to a wide range of young people. We consulted with some of these providers and asked them to identify their key success factors. Their top tips for other providers who want to grow their traineeship programmes are included in our Growing Traineeship Programmes resource.


Maximising progressions into apprenticeships and employment

How can providers maximise trainees’ progressions into apprenticeships and jobs? These resources showcase effective approaches and provide insight into ways in which providers can boost their progression rates:

Tips 1-4

Tips 5-10

Tips 1-10 (Summary)


Developing traineeships for young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)

Young people who are NEET often face a range of barriers that prevent them from making successful transitions into employment. These resources provide practical insight into ways in which providers are developing flexible and tailored traineeship programmes that enable some of the most disadvantaged young people to gain apprenticeships and jobs:


A Framework for Local Growth

LEPs, local authorities and other local strategic stakeholders have a key role to play in shaping the delivery of traineeships in response to local priorities. These resources present the findings of pilot activity undertaken by L&W in partnership with five local areas to explore how strategic support for traineeships at local level can strengthen delivery and encourage the growth of provision:


Previous Reports


Sector-focussed traineeships

The flexibility of the traineeship programme enables providers to tailor provision to specific sectors of the economy and job roles. This report showcases how and why providers are developing sector-focussed traineeships and the outcomes for young people and employers.

STEM Traineeships in the Humber LEP Area

This discussion paper presents the findings of a situational appraisal we undertook for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and explores whether and how Traineeships can work for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) within the context of a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area. It draws on desk research and interviews undertaken within the Dorset LEP area and aims to identify the potential and the barriers associated with Traineeships within STEM-based roles.

Can and how might Traineeships work for STEM within the context of a LEP area?

In 2015 we worked in partnership with Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to test and demonstrate how a strategic local approach to traineeships could support the LEP in its efforts to boost the number of local workers qualified to meet the surge in demand from local industries reliant on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills.

Want to know more?

For further information about our traineeship work or to talk to us about how you can get involved, contact:

Nicola Aylward, Head of Learning for Young People


Twitter:  @NicolaJAylward