Government aims to build on the strong start it has made for its trainee scheme, which is designed to help young people prepare and ready themselves for an apprenticeship.
The biggest change to the traineeship programme is the increased levels of flexibility for learning providers and employers to help develop quality courses.
One of the amendments is the ability for providers of the courses to choose the duration of the young peoples’ training, as long as the placements last for between 100 and 240 hours. Previously, employers and education providers were tasked to create a traineeship that ranged from six weeks to five months.
Another consequence of the new guidance is that the Department for Work and Pensions has removed the 16 hour-a-week rule for those claiming Job Seekers Allowance, and the proviso that all traineeships have eight weeks of consecutive work experience.
These ultimately are aimed at giving greater flexibility to employer that, with their education partner, is able to develop a programme where the work experience can run alongside other planned training elements.
The changes proposed in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills guidance paper, will come into force on August 1, with the funding now available for youngsters up to the age of 24, compared to 23 in 2013.
MP Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, said, “Traineeships have had a successful first year and thousands of young people have benefited from the chance to get the skills and work experience they need for an apprenticeship or other job.
“But there is more to do. We need more employers to offer traineeship places; I want more young people to have the opportunity to embark on a traineeship and take the first step in working towards a successful career.”
Michael Riley, Director of Prestige Training in Manchester says that while the focus on traineeships is good news for the industry, they need to approached by employers and training providers with care.
“Traineeships are absolutely fine as long as they are run correctly and don’t displace apprenticeships,” he adds. “The idea is to get some education in there and get them some work experience in the motoring industry, and hopefully it will give them the skills to get employed or onto an apprenticeship.”
Hancock added that the guidance is all based on feedback given from those businesses involved in traineeships over the last year, which he believes will help improve the current traineeship programme significantly for all parties while maintaining a strong focus on quality.