Press release

Mercedes-Benz, BT and Brompton Bicycle back traineeships to get young people ready for work

More than 100 employers across the country have committed to being part of the traineeships programme

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Some of the country’s biggest employers – including HSBC, General Motors and Virgin Media – are among those backing the new traineeships programme. Traineeships will be available from August and will offer 16 to 24 year olds a package of training and work experience to give them the skills and confidence to get a job or an apprenticeship, the government will announce today (17 July 2013).

More than 100 employers across the country – large and small – have committed to being part of the traineeships programme and many more are being encouraged to sign up.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

Young people in Britain deserve the chance to work and get on in life which is why we’re introducing traineeships to help them get on the first rung of the ladder.

Employers value real experience which is why I’m delighted that more than 100 businesses have come forward. I now want to urge more employers – no matter what size – to sign up to the programme and make the most of the talents of our young people.

This is vital for our economy to compete in the global race. Traineeships are just one of the ways this government is making sure young people cross the start line.

Today the government will publish a framework for delivery which sets out how traineeships will work. It takes on board the views of more than 450 responses to the traineeships discussion paper published in January 2013.

Traineeships will:

  • provide work preparation training such as interview preparation and CV writing.
  • offer training in English and maths
  • include a high-quality work placement (between six weeks and five months)
  • last a maximum of six months
  • include training from providers who are rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ by Ofsted to ensure a high-quality programme

Helen Taylor, Apprenticeship Programme Operations Manager at Mercedes-Benz, said:

We have a large number of young people apply for our apprenticeship positions each year yet there were still some vacancies we were unfortunately unable to fill. Many of those candidates would have benefitted from a vocational programme such as a traineeship, giving them the confidence plus some experience to demonstrate they are ready to make the move from education to employment.

Damian Brown, Head of Accredited Learning at the BT Group, said:

BT welcomes the minister’s launch of traineeships. We recognise young people need extra help to make their first move into employment and to overcome many of the barriers they face. This will help ensure they have proficient levels of literacy, numeracy and an understanding of work, so they are attractive candidates to employers.

Will Butler-Adams, Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle Ltd, said:

We face considerable skills shortages in our sector, particularly in specialist areas like brazing and design. The newly announced traineeships will, we hope, provide us with a highly practical route to promote these occupations to young people and offer them a very practical opportunity to learn the basics before progressing to a full Apprenticeship.

Employers interested in getting involved in traineeships can find out more on the National Apprenticeships Service website or by calling them on 08000 150 600.

Notes to editors

  1. The updated Framework for Delivery is available on request from the BIS press office or can be downloaded from the website on Wednesday 17 July (replacing an earlier version released on 9 May):

  2. Traineeships are a joint BIS and DfE programme. Traineeships for 16 to 19 year olds were announced in May 2013. As part of the Spending Review in June, it was announced that the programme has now been extended up to age 24. The government expects that traineeships will be delivered in partnership by employers, and education and training providers. The initiative is part of the government’s wider aim to ensure the future workforce possesses the skills that employers want in their apprentices and employees. Traineeships will place employers at the heart of their design and delivery to ensure they are meeting local skills needs.

  3. The discussion paper Traineeships: Supporting young people to develop the skills for Apprenticeships and other sustained jobs was published in January 2013. More than 450 responses were received and several meetings with representative organisations also took place.

  4. All young people undertaking a traineeship will be required to study English and maths unless they have achieved a GCSE A-C in those subjects or, for those aged 19 and above, a GCSE A-C or a functional skills qualification at Level 2.

  5. Education and training providers who meet the quality criteria can deliver traineeships from the start of the 2013 to 2014 academic year as part of 16 to 19 Study Programmes or through their Adult Skills Budget. Young people who want to enrol on a traineeship should contact the National Apprenticeship Service or their local training provider. A web page for traineeships will be created shortly where they will be able to find out more about the programme and where traineeships are available.

  6. Traineeships are also available for young people up to academic age 25 if they are subject to a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) issued by their home local authority.

  7. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 17 July 2013