There is a lot of talk about apprenticeships in the media right now – especially given the government’s pledge to dramatically increase the number of apprenticeships over the next five years. Offering training, a wage, and advice alongside real life work experience and a qualification to prove what you know, an apprenticeship can be a great jumping off point for your career. Rather than paying tuition fees, an apprenticeship offers you a debt-free route into a career, and are now available in a broad range of jobs. This may all sound appealing, but maybe you don’t quite feel that that you are ready to commit to a year-long apprenticeship just yet? Perhaps you want to build some experience and test the water with a shorter course – in which case you might want to consider a traineeship.
A traineeship usually lasts up to 6 months and offers work experience to get you ready for an apprenticeship or even full-time work. In order to qualify for a traineeship you need to be eligible to work in England, currently out of work and aged 16 to 24 with qualifications below Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels). Traineeships are, in effect, high-quality work placements and are ideal for those with little or no work experience. It will help build your confidence while offering you an insight into the world of work.
However, it is not just about the work experience, as you will also get a chance to build a relationship with local employers and, as any successful businessperson will tell you, networking is important in your career!
There is some training available during your placement too – from basic work preparation skills like interview techniques, to job searching and other work-related skills like time-keeping and working as part of a team. If necessary, you will also be able to improve your core skills in maths and English.
Unlike an apprenticeship, you won’t be paid for your time but most employers are happy to cover costs for travel and food so you are not left out of pocket as a result of your traineeship. If things are tight (and you qualify) you can also apply for The 16-19 Bursary Fund for a grant to help support you.
Since employers work with training providers you will not only build relevant skills for the role you are working in, but will also get mentoring support as you learn.
A traineeship can also lead straight into work, with many employers offering a job if a vacancy exists at the end of the period of training. Even if a vacancy doesn’t exist, you will be given an exit interview, where the employer can discuss how you got on and offer some advice for the future. You should also get a reference which you can use to help you land a job elsewhere.
Alternatively, you may be able to advance straight into an apprenticeship with the same employer – taking your learning to the next level once you have built up enough experience. Don’t let uncertainty stand in the way of your future career – search the current traineeships right here on notgoingtouni to see if there is something to suit you.