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Apprenticeships and traineeships

Young people

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An apprenticeship is a real job with training so you can earn while you learn and get recognised qualifications as you go. They take between one and four years to complete. Your employer provides your on-the-job training and pays your wages. You will work alongside them and learn from some of the best in the business.

Your learning provider can be a college, training organisation or university, and they look after the rest of your training. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release (attending one day a week) or over a succession of days in a short period (block-release).

You can search for local Apprenticeship opportunities on the Apprenticeships website.

Find out more about the support available for young people with SEND to access Apprenticeships.

As an apprentice you may be entitled to help with travel costs, have a look at the travel choices available.


You can expect three things from a traineeship:

  • high quality work placements – where you can learn what’s expected of you in the workplace, and develop links with local employers
  • flexible training - in other relevant areas to help you get ready for work, such as job search and interview skills, time-keeping and team working
  • study in English and maths (if appropriate) – employers value these essential skills very highly

They are usually unpaid but most pay travel and meal costs. They can last between six weeks and six months. At the end of your placement, you will get an interview if there is a job or apprenticeship available. If not, you will receive an exit interview with the employer who provided the work placement. In this interview you can discuss what you’ve learned, and how it might help you with things like updating your CV and getting into a job or an apprenticeship.