Traineeship, Apprenticeship, Kickstart placement… What’s the difference?

Looking for work or training to enhance your employability but having trouble knowing the different options available?

Our team at Jobs@SkillsHub have put together a handy guide on the different forms of employment available and the key differences between them, including what exactly are traineeships, apprenticeships and Kickstart placements.

So let’s delve deeper into which opportunity is best for YOU.

Kiran Ohri (Kiran) - 24/03/2021

What is a traineeship?
A traineeship is an education and training based work placement aimed at preparing young people for the world of work. Traineeships are designed for people aged 16-24 years looking to further develop their employability and Maths and English. A traineeship will involve work experience with an employer, and training provided by a specialist training provider.
Traineeship programmes can last anywhere between six weeks to six months and are a great opportunity for young people to gain the skills they need to progress to either an apprenticeship or starting job role.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a job opportunity available to anyone aged 16 or over who is not already enrolled in full-time education. Apprenticeships are an opportunity to gain specialist skills in an hands-on work environment whilst gaining a qualification provided by a training provider (such as a college or university). Apprentices get paid for the work they do, unlike trainees, as apprenticeships are considered a higher level of work and education. Apprenticeships can last anywhere between one and six years and are useful for people looking to start a career in a specific field or wanting to change career path.
At the end of an apprenticeship, you will receive a qualification which will be categorised by the equivalent education level. See the Government Apprenticeships website for more information on the level of apprenticeships and their education equivalent.
What is a Kickstart placement?

There has been a lot of chatter about the Government’s Kickstart scheme, which was first introduced in 2020, to help create jobs for young people at risk of long-term unemployment due to adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. A Kickstart placement is a 6-month work placement available for anyone between the ages of 16-24 years old, who are ready for work, and currently claiming Universal Credit.
Due to the 6-month period of Kickstart opportunities, they are often shorter than apprenticeships, and do not focus on specialist skills, or receiving a qualification, as they are created to provide general employability and basic training that can be offered by an employer.
There are currently several local employers who are offering Kickstart work placements, with a range available to view on our Jobs@SkillsHub portal. You will need to sign up as a jobseeker here to view these vacancies and speak to your Job Centre Work Coach who will be able to inform you of all the  available Kickstart vacancies up for grabs and how to apply.
In summary…
- A traineeship = a training opportunity for anyone between the ages of 16-24.
- An apprenticeship = a paid job, alongside relevant training, for anyone 16+ not in full-time education.
- A Kickstart placement = a paid work experience placement for 16-24 year olds, on Universal Credit, who are ready for work.
Our Jobs@SkillsHub portal has a wide range of employment, training, and education opportunities available such as traineeships, apprenticeships, Kickstart placements, as well as full-time work and part-time work. To apply and browse our full range of jobs and opportunities register at Jobs@SkillsHub here:
Current opportunities get updated on our website daily, so be sure to check back and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest opportunities available.
Still confused about what is best for you? Our Skills Hub advisers can help talk you through your options. Contact us on 0191 277 4125, or email

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