Traineeships are for 16-24 year olds and last up to 6 months. Like Sector-Based Work Academies, they include ‘work preparation training’ and a work placement.

What else does a traineeship involve?

The work placement is 6-8 weeks long (see point 4 of this guidance).  Traineeships include English and Maths teaching up to GCSE level, if you don’t have those GCSEs already.  The work placement can be spread across a few different companies (see point 58 of this summary).

Only the training is compulsory

The training part of Traineeships is compulsory, but the work placement part is not.

A claimant must agree to go on a traineeship, and once they have agreed, they are then mandated to attend the training elements. However, a claimant cannot be mandated to take part in the work experience element of Traineeships.

Source: point 8 of this Decision Makers’ Memo, 2013.

From the first Work Focused Interview, Traineeships should be considered as a non mandatory referral option for claimants who are eligible and interested.

Source: point 5 of this guidance.

Gross misconduct

But, like placements on the Work Experience scheme, you could still be sanctioned if you are dismissed due to ‘gross misconduct’:

The only reason a claimant could be sanctioned for a failure to take part in the work experience element of the Traineeship is if the claimant lost the place due to gross misconduct.

Source: point 8 of this Decision Makers’ Memo, 2013.

If you're in work already

You can still be sent on a traineeship if you’re working a few hours a week and claiming some form of benefit (up to 16 hours – see points 11, 19 and 20 of this guidance). But, if you have recent work experience (point 9), or are learning English (point 35), you should not be sent on a traineeship and should challenge your referral.