What are Traineeships?
A traineeship is a flexible training and work experience programme for people aged 16-24. Focusing on developing real work experience alongside work-readiness skills, Maths and English skills, a traineeship can offer you an opportunity to show employers what you can do in the workplace.
With progression support, you’ll look to use that experience to move into your first step in your future career, either full-time work or an apprenticeship. You will also work towards a Level 2 in English and Maths if you don’t already have the relevant qualifications.
Traineeships last between 12 and 20 weeks, and from the first few weeks you’ll be in your work placement and building that experience.
There are three levels of apprenticeship available, depending on applicants’ skills and qualifications: Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2), Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) and Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4 or above) – within the Higher Apprenticeships grouping sit the new Degree Apprenticeships.
An Intermediate Apprenticeship is equivalent to five good GCSE passes. Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC.
Advanced apprenticeships work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based certificate such as a BTEC. To start this programme, the applicant should ideally have five GCSEs at grade C or above or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship.
Higher apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation degree. Apprentices can also progress to higher education, including university degrees.
Degree Apprenticeships are the latest model of apprenticeship to be developed, seeing apprentices achieving a full bachelor’s or master’s degree – at Levels 6 and 7 – as a core component of the programmes. While Degree Apprenticeships must last a minimum of one year, the programmes will generally last longer than this, typically up to four years, though there is no fixed maximum duration.
Degree Apprentices are not eligible for student loans but their tuition fees are often paid in full by the apprentice employer, or at least in part, and they are paid a salary as full-time employees, like all other apprentices.
Degree Apprentices split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession.
It's likely that a particular level of apprenticeship will be most suited or appealing to you. There are different ways into each level, but to get a sense of what is on offer you could take a look at our jobs board.
To gain additional guidance on Apprenticeship and to view the latest opportunities, please visit the link below which will guide you further. www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship
What are functional skills?
Functional Skills are practical skills in English, Maths and ICT for all learners aged 14 and above. Functional Skills provide an individual with essential knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.
They are learning tools that enable students to:
- apply their knowledge and understanding to everyday life
- engage competently and confidently with others
- solve problems in both familiar and unfamiliar situations
- develop personally and professionally as positive citizens who can actively contribute to society
Functional Skills qualifications in English, Maths and ICT are available at Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2. Each subject area has a set of performance standards based on three key areas:
- Representing – making sense of a situation and representing it mathematically.
- Analysing – processing and using maths.
- Interpreting – interpreting and communicating the results of analysis.
- Use of ICT systems.
- Finding and selecting information.
- Developing, presenting and communicating information.
- Speaking and listening – making an oral presentation or report.
- Reading – reading and understanding information and instructions.
- Writing – writing accurately so that meaning is clear.
Exemptions from Functional Skills
We treat some qualifications in maths, English language and literature as equivalent to GCSE grade 9 to 4 or A* to C. This means that students who have studied in England or elsewhere who hold the following qualifications do not have to study maths and/or English to meet the condition of funding:
- international GCSEs, regulated or unregulated, or equivalent level 1/level 2 certificates grade A* to C/9 to 4
- GCSEs grade A* to C, obtained in Wales, including maths numeracy
- international O levels grade A* to C
- A and AS levels at any pass grade
- full International Baccalaureate (IB) level 3 Diploma (LARS reference 50034157)
- core maths qualifications at level
Advanced Learner Loans
If you are aged 19 or over, you could now qualify for a new type of loan to help pay for your tuition fees as you prepare for your next step up the career ladder.