Traineeship information for employers

What employers can expect from providing a work placement for a traineeship and how to set one up.

This guidance was withdrawn on

From 1 August 2023, traineeships are no longer delivered through the national traineeships programme. Traineeships can continue to be offered by providers locally.

What is a traineeship?

A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work experience placement.

Traineeships help provide young people aged 16 to 24 (in some instances 25) with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, as well as preparing them for employment or an apprenticeship.

Traineeships must include at least 70 hours of work experience placement. They can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, but most last less than 6 months.

Employers can offer a work experience placement to a trainee. They will work with a training provider to design the programme.

How the traineeship programme works

The training provider will assess the needs of the trainee.

Trainees may need pre-employment training before starting their work experience placement.

Employers will then work with the training provider to plan and agree:

  • the length of the work experience placement

  • the days the trainee works

  • how the programme will be delivered

Traineeships are flexible. Employers can change the programme as they go to make sure they and the trainee get the most out of it.

After the traineeship

Employers should:

  • offer the trainee an interview at the end of the programme if a job or an apprenticeship is available in their business

  • provide an exit interview with meaningful written feedback if no job or apprenticeship is available

Employer responsibilities

Employers must provide:

  • a safe, meaningful and high-quality work experience placement

  • a minimum of 70 hours of work experience placement over the duration of the traineeship (if the trainee claims benefits, the placement cannot last longer than 240 hours)

  • constructive feedback and advice to the trainee

  • an interview for an apprenticeship or job in their organisation at the end of the traineeship if one is available

  • an exit interview at the end of the traineeship with meaningful written feedback if no job is available

Benefits to employers

Offering a work experience placement gives employers the chance to:

  • get to know and work with a young person to see if they’re right for an apprenticeship or job in their business

  • design a programme that suits the needs of the trainee and their business

  • develop current employees’ experience in training and mentoring

  • recruit new talent for their business

  • claim an employer incentive of £1,000 when a work experience placement of over 70 hours has been completed


Employers who make new work placement opportunities available may be eligible for an incentive payment of £1,000 per learner. They can claim this incentive for up to 10 learners per region. Employers can decide how to use the money.

You can view more guidance on employer incentive payments and how to claim them.


Traineeships are funded by the government.

Traineeships are free to the employer, but they may choose to support trainees with expenses such as transport and meals.

Get started

If you are interested in offering a work placement for a traineeship:

  1. Contact the employer support service to register your interest in traineeships. They can help you set up a traineeship and advertise it on Find a traineeship.

  2. Partner with a training provider who will help you to design a traineeship that will meet your business needs. They will also advertise the work experience placement for you.

  3. Agree with the trainee and your training provider exactly what each of you expects from the traineeship.

Further support and information

Updates to this page

Published 19 October 2017
Last updated 12 December 2022 + show all updates
  1. The page has been updated to reflect changes to the traineeships programme from 1 August 2023.

  2. Updated to include new incentive payment information.

  3. Updated to include: new traineeship extended duration, participation widened to those with level 3 qualifications, digital skills as an option, the number of minimum hours for work placement, incentive payments and selling points of the traineeship.

  4. First published.

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