UK: Multiple Class Action Complaints Challenge Church Plan Status Of Hospital Pension Plans

Last Updated: 12 July 2013
Article by Caroline Yarrow and Aisleen Pugh

The government has recently published a Framework for Delivery which provides employers, education and training providers and young people with information about its recently announced programme for traineeships.

The programme, which is funded by the Department for Education and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, was announced by the government in January 2013 and follows on from Doug Richard's recommendation in his review of apprenticeships that the government should introduce a separate work-based programme for young people to support entry into employment.

Traineeships are aimed at supporting young people to get 'work-ready' and develop the skills needed for apprenticeships and sustainable employment. It is anticipated that traineeships will address employers' concerns about poor skills levels amongst young people. It was initially announced that they would be introduced from August 2013 for young people aged 16-19 and young people with Learning Difficulty Assessments up to academic age 25. The government hoped to extend the programme to young people aged up to 24 in due course and in fact, Chancellor George Osborne announced an extension of traineeships to 19-24 year olds in this week's Spending Review.

The delivery of traineeships will initially be limited to employers and training providers who have achieved an Ofsted inspection grade of Outstanding or Good. There are various funding routes available to employers and providers, including through existing contracts with the Skills Funding Agency and Education Funding Agency.

The core target group for traineeships will be young people who:

  • are not currently in a job and have little work experience, but who are focused on work or the prospect of it;
  • are qualified below Level 3 on the National Qualifications Framework; and
  • have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within 6 months of engaging in a traineeship.

The Framework anticipates that traineeships will be a flexible partnership between employers and education and training providers. They will last for a maximum of 6 months and will comprise a high quality work placement, work preparation training and functional skills qualifications in English and maths.

The work placement will involve employers and a workplace setting. The Framework provides that the work placement aspect of the traineeship will last for at least 6 weeks but no more than 5 months. All traineeships will offer a guaranteed interview with the employer at the end of the work placement as well as a formal reference which will confirm any qualifications completed with the training provider.

The content of work preparation training will be flexible, and it will be up to the training providers and employers to agree this. The Framework envisages that functional skills will be of primary importance, although additional content such as vocational qualifications, ICT skills and personal and social skills may also be appropriate.

The government will hold providers to account against securing positive outcomes for trainees and this will be the primary measure of success for traineeships.

Traineeships fall under an exemption to the National Minimum Wage which applies to young people undertaking education and training; indeed, the Government has designed the framework to enable providers to create traineeships to meet the needs of young people who are claiming benefits. Trainees can therefore continue to receive Jobseeker's Allowance or the Universal Credit while undertaking a traineeship. Trainees may also qualify for additional financial support, including under the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

The government considers that traineeships are part of the same family as apprenticeships and it hopes that, over time, employers will consider in the round the number of apprenticeships and traineeships they will offer in their workforce planning.

This is an important development and one which represents significant opportunities for employers, education and training providers and young people. For more information about traineeships and how Bircham Dyson Bell can assist you in preparing for their introduction, please contact Caroline Yarrow or Aisleen Pugh.

For more information on apprenticeships, please see our recent briefing 'You're Hired – An Employer's Guide to Apprenticeships'.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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