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  • Apprentice in protective clothing using welding equipment

Be Skilled – Be Qualified – Be Paid

The NI Traineeship programme provides a high-quality vocational education and training programme at Level 2 and is aimed at school leavers who aspire to work within a specific sector. The Traineeship is available to all participants, providing the skills and qualifications necessary to secure employment in their chosen occupation including transition to a Level 2 apprenticeship during the programme where relevant.

The Traineeship also provides progression to a Level 3 Apprenticeship or alternatively to Further Education at Level 3.

A Traineeship programme comprises the following key elements:

• A main professional and technical qualification in the chosen occupational area;

• Skills development;

• Transversal skills;

• Work placement;

• Literacy and numeracy qualifications al Level 2 (may include GCSE qualifications in English and Mathematics);

• Additional qualifications deemed necessary for work within a sector, e.g. Health and Safety, CSR, manual handling

Available September 2023

  • • Brickwork
  • • Carpentry and Joinery
  • • Childcare
  • • Engineering (Fabrication and Welding)
    • Hairdressing
    • Health and Social Care
    • Hospitality and Catering
    • Information and Creative Technology
    • Motor Vehicle Repair
    • Painting and Decorating
    • Wall and Floor Tiling

What is Traineeship?

Traineeship Diploma

On successful completion of a NI Traineeship, participants will receive a full Traineeship Diploma equivalent to five GCSEs at grades A*-C (including
English and Mathematics qualifications at Level 2).

The majority of Traineeships will typically take up to two years to complete on a full-time basis. Some take one
year to complete including:
• IT
• Health and Social Care
• Childcare
• Hairdressing
• Travel and Tourism

Participants who achieve qualifications during the first year may progress to an apprenticeship or further education earlier.

Developing your wider skills

As well as providing you with the technical skills and knowledge in your chosen area, the Traineeship will help you to develop a range of transversal skills that are important for employment including:

• Problem solving

• Teamwork

• Communication

• Time management

• Entrepreneurship

Project Based Learning will also be a key feature of Traineeships. This is a dynamic approach to learning in which you will explore real-world problems and challenges that have been developed with employers. With this type of active and engaged learning, you will be inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects you are studying and develop a wide range of hands on skills.

Financial Entitlements

Trainees may be entitled to an Education Maintenance Allowance. EMA pays £30 per week and is available to 16–19 year-olds (means tested). Attendance is monitored and payment is dependent on full weekly attendance in all subject areas including placement. Bonuses are also payable on the achievement of qualifications.

EMA Application forms are available online.

If you would like to receive an EMA application pack by post please email or ring 0287127 6010.

If your parent(s)/guardian(s) receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)/Income Support, means-tested Job Seeker’s Allowance or Housing Benefit, that benefit will not be affected by the EMA.

If you are entitled to one of these benefits in your own right, then that benefit will not be affected either. Your parent(s)/guardian(s) will also be entitled to receive Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit provided all other conditions for receipt of the benefits are met.

In addition, you will receive participant bonuses at various stages of your training.

Travel, lodging and childcare allowances may be paid depending on individual circumstances.

Further Education Grant

  • FE Grants are available to students who are studying full-time further education courses and are 19+ on the 1st July 2021.
  • Students can get up to £2,092 per year (means tested, non-repayable)
  • Download an Application Form or collect a copy from Student Services

Deadline to be guaranteed funding is 30th June but applications are open until the 30th September.

Travel/Bus Pass

Bus passes are issued by your local Education Authority (EA).

Students must:

  • Be under 19 on 1st July before the start of the academic year.
  • Be studying a Further Education course only
  • Live at least 3 miles from their nearest college. If you are studying a Higher Education course you are not entitled to a travel pass.

Travel payments to work placement will be supported and trainees will be required to apply via the College. For further information please contact

Free School Meals

Students under 18 years of age at 31st July before the start of the academic year, may be entitled to free school meals. Applications must be made by your parent or guardian to your local Education Authority.

School meal tickets will be available from reception and should be collected on a weekly basis.

Childcare support is also available to eligible students, contact for further information.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will be required to hold a minimum of a Level 1 qualification defined as 4 GCSEs at grades D-G including Mathematics and English grades D-F or equivalent. However, there will be a number of occupational areas where this minimum requirement will be enhanced.


The Traineeship programme will typically take up to two years to complete on a full-time basis, with a one year fast-track option.

Traineeship Certificate

On successful completion of a Traineeship, participants will receive a full Traineeship Certificate plus other qualifications equivalent to five GCSEs at grades A*-C (including English and Mathematics qualifications at Level 2).

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