Traineeships vs Apprenticeships

We’ve all heard of Apprenticeships, but what about the lesser known cousin, the Traineeship? What even is the difference?

Traineeships were introduced for the first time in 2013 and were designed to be a precursor to an Apprenticeship or a job. In a nutshell, a Traineeship is an education, training and work experience programme that prepares young people for the world of work. They can last from six weeks to six months and include on average of  100 – 240 hours  work experience. Alongside work experience there is an opportunity to upskill – so participants who have not passed GCSEs in English and Maths, for example, can study and retake.  At the end of the programme the trainee may receive an interview for an apprenticeship or a job or an exit interview and some feedback from the employer.  Whilst trainees are not paid for the work placement, they may be able to claim travel expenses and they can still claim any other benefits they are entitled to. For full details on Traineeships  see: Traineeships


Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industry areas and at four levels: Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and Degree. They typically last between one and four years and are available in a number of different industries. They are ideal for young people who have developed an interest in a particular sector and know they want to pursue a career in that area.  Apprentices do get paid – the national minimum wage (NMW) for apprentices is £3.90 per hour from April 2019 although most will be paid more. For full details on apprenticeships, see: Apprenticeships