The Occupational Traineeship is a funded scheme that provides a new route for further education (FE) students into the workplace or onto an apprenticeship in England.
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About | Benefits | The scheme | Pilot study
Training Providers (ATOs)
The Occupational Traineeship is a funded scheme that provides a new route for further education (FE) students into the workplace or onto an apprenticeship in England. It has been created to bridge the gap between full time education and the construction industry.
Designed to get people into work with the site readiness skills that the industry is asking for, Occupational Traineeships provide a unique industry taster experience, combining work preparation training from an approved training provider, with a high quality work placement. And, unlike a general traineeship, the content is tailored to support progression towards a specific role.
Those completing this traineeship go into construction knowing what to expect.
The scheme, available in England from Autumn 2022, benefits learners, employers and training providers, allowing learners to experience hands on what working within the sector is actually like, before committing to a full apprenticeship. This onsite experience increases the likelihood of them securing and more importantly, completing an apprenticeship.
For employers it provides an opportunity to gain a high calibre apprentice, who is able to quickly contribute to the employer’s work. Leaners with previous experience are more likely to complete apprenticeships and retention issues are reduced. There is also the added benefit of a financial incentive.
For approved training providers, the scheme offers an additional source of funding, a positive destination for learners, increased retention rates and an improvement in successful outcomes.
The Occupational Traineeship is supported by training Standards developed by CITB, in consultation with construction industry employers, stakeholders and training providers. Employers are provided with a copy of the relevant Standard prior to the placement beginning. Training providers then monitor the progress of the learner throughout the placement, to ensure the standard requirements are met.
Following the successful pilot in 2021, the new initiative will be rolled out across England in the coming months, with training providers and colleges adding the scheme to their offering for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.
New standards have been developed to support the traineeships, across four key skills:
- Carpentry and joinery
- Painting and decorating
A pilot Occupational Traineeship in bricklaying was delivered by Hartlepool College of Further Education and evaluated by the Learning and Work Institute for the Department for Education.
The findings were extremely positive and delivered a significant improvement in the number of trainees that remained in further education, progressed to permanent employment or committed to a full apprenticeship, following completion of the traineeship, compared to the standard progression rate.
The video below gives more information and more detailed feedback is available here (PDF, 641KB).
The funded scheme provides a new route for further education (FE) students into the workplace or onto an apprenticeship. Occupational Traineeships enhance the learning experience, improving student retention and increasing success rates through onsite experience.
Available to students that are currently in full time education and have completed at least one year of their diploma course, Occupational Traineeships provide a unique industry taster experience. They combine work preparation training from a training provider, with a high quality work placement, and unlike a general traineeship, the content is tailored to support progression towards a specific role within four key skills areas: Bricklaying, Carpentry & Joinery, Drylining, Painting & Decorating.
Occupational Traineeships can only be offered by Approved Training Organisations (ATO’s). If you’d like to offer this scheme all the information you need to apply to become an ATO can be found here.
To learn more or get started, click the links below:
- Top tips for delivering an Occupational Traineeship (PDF, 1.68MB)
- To get started download the traineeship standards:
Occupational Traineeships are funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency in line with the Traineeships Delivery Framework.
Funding information, including how much you can claim and how to apply, can be found here.
The Occupational Traineeship provides an opportunity for you and your future apprentices. It’s designed to bridge the gap between full time education and employment, enabling learners to get an insight into what it’s really like to work on site, understand what the different roles involve and gain crucial technical skills.
The scheme provides the knowledge and practical skills experience needed for learners to decide if a career in construction is the right choice for them. Their experience ‘on the job’ makes them site ready, when they join you as an apprentice.
Occupational Traineeships blend practical skills with content aligned to occupational standards and recruitment criteria. Offering a learner high quality work experience via a 6-7 week placement, that can help fill your future skills gaps.
Learners that complete a traineeship begin their apprenticeship better prepared and with an understanding of what to expect when working on site. This means they are more likely to stay and complete their apprenticeship with you.
The placement itself is unpaid, however employers may wish to cover travel and other expenses.
Employers can apply for a £1000 grant from CITB for each placement completed.
A £1000 Grant is available per learner, on completion of a CITB Occupational Traineeship work placement.
All Levy-registered employers that meet our general Grants Scheme terms and conditions can apply.
Full details will be available on the CITB Occupational Traineeships grant page.
More grant information can be found on the CITB Grants page.
To find out more about the scheme and how you can take part please contact us. You can find your local advisor here.