Recruit an apprentice is the official government service for posting and managing apprenticeship vacancies and traineeship opportunities in England. The system enables training organisations to post vacancies on behalf of employers to be viewed and applied for by candidates that use our find an apprenticeship service.

Useful links:


Traineeships are designed for young people aged 16 to 24, who want a job or an apprenticeship but who aren’t yet ready, so need to get some work experience first. A traineeship can last from six weeks up to one year but most last less than six months. Trainees spend at least 70 hours on a work placement with an employer. The rest of the time is spent with a training provider learning other work and job search skills, and working on English and maths if you didn’t get a grade 4 in these subjects at GCSE. Over half of trainees go on to do an apprenticeship.

Traineeships aren’t paid but employers sometimes pay expenses for things like travel and meals. Depending on the circumstances, some young people may get a bursary and their families may continue to get child benefit and child tax credits or part of Universal Credit that is for the trainee.

Lifetime Skills Guarantee

Almost 400 qualifications are available to take from 1 April – backed by £95 million in government funding in 2021/22 – as part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee. The qualifications on offer range from engineering to social care to conservation and are available to any adult who has not already achieved a qualification at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels). The Guarantee aims to transform the skills system so everyone, no matter where they live or their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives. It will also ensure employers have access to the skilled workforce they need, and more people are trained for the skills gaps that exist now, and in the future.

Skills Bootcamps

As well as the free courses, as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, thousands of adults have taken advantage of new Skills Bootcamps which offer free, flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks covering areas including construction, digital and technical. Skills Bootcamps – which are currently running in six areas of the country – provide a chance to learn specific skills and offer a fast-track to an interview with a local employer at the end. Skills Bootcamps will be expanded across the country later this year.

Adults who take up the free courses have the potential to boost career prospects, wages and help fill skills gaps, while supporting the economy and building back better. Free courses to help you learn new skills or change jobs. Including general skills that apply to all sectors and more specialised skills.


National Careers Service

The National Careers Service provide information for parents, teachers, employers, coaches and advisers to support others in their career journey and work with organisations, employers and professional bodies to promote the importance of up to date careers guidance.

Careers and Enterprise Company

The Careers and Enterprise Company exists to facilitate a world-class careers education, inspiring and preparing young people for the world of work. Over recent years, they have established the foundations of a new approach to long-standing issues affecting the quality and availability of careers education for young people across England. Their work began with a transformative employer-led programme to connect business with education. Today, they support schools and colleges to deliver world-class careers education, responsive to individual pupil needs and underpinned by the internationally recognised Gatsby Career Benchmarks.

Train and Progress

DWP Train and Progress (TaP), a DWP initiative aimed at increasing access to training opportunities for claimants, will see an extension to the length of time people can receive Universal Credit while undertaking work-focused study. Initially available for 6 months, the amount of time Universal Credit claimants can take part in full-time training will extend to up to 12 weeks throughout Great Britain – up from the current 8 weeks.

Institutes of Technology

Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are new employer-focused providers specialising in delivering higher technical education across England. They are collaborations between further education (FE) providers, higher education (HE) providers or universities and employers, delivering a wide range of technical courses in advanced manufacturing, digital and cyber security, agri-tech, aerospace, automotive engineering, healthcare and laboratory science.
The courses cover a range of levels including:

Each Institute of Technology (IoT) starts with a group of local anchor employer partners, who are on the license agreement. However, the number of employers an IoT works with is not limited.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund

A United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, specifically designed to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations. The money that is spent will help deliver sustainable, inclusive growth based on our modern industrial strategy. The method for doing this is “strengthening the foundations of productivity as set out in our modern Industrial Strategy to support people to benefit from economic prosperity”. The role of the Industrial Strategy is heavily emphasised, both at a national and local level, with local areas in England “being asked to prepare Local Industrial Strategies to prioritise long-term opportunities and challenges to increasing local productivity”.

Sector-based Work Academy programme

The sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) can support you to create a skilled workforce for your business. Sector-based work academies help prepare those receiving unemployment benefits to apply for jobs in a different area of work. Placements are designed to help meet your immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow your business. SWAP is administered by Jobcentre Plus and available in England and Scotland.

Gary Baker, the chairman of the Furniture and Interiors Educations, Skills and Training Alliance, is urging employers in the UK furniture and interiors sector to not be put off by the complexities of the government’s Kickstart Scheme and work with the alliance’s Skills Plus service to easily take advantage of the initiative.

Kickstart is a new programme where an employer can offer a government funded six-month work experience placement to a 16-24-year-old currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The scheme, which was launched on Wednesday 2 September, aims to create thousands of jobs in the UK, but businesses are criticising the arduous application process needed to undertake in order to benefit.

Following the announcement of the scheme, FIESTA is encouraging companies to access Kickstart by working with its Skills Plus initiative. Skills Plus already offers micro, SME and large employers within the furniture and furnishings sector an affordable and simplified way to engage with apprenticeships, upskilling and retraining staff, and through its existing infrastructure can assist companies to employ young people through Kickstart.

Gary Baker, FIESTA chairman, said: “The guidance released has made it clear that not only will it be a rigorous application process for employers applying, but they also need to have a minimum of 30 placements available, which is a huge undertaking for even large organisations. By working with Skills Plus, employers can band together to reach the 30 placements required and we will cover the administration, relieving the burden from the company completely. This is too good an opportunity for businesses in the industry to miss – six months of subsidised labour while providing the individual with skills to help them progress in their career.”

Carmen Daley, operations manager at Skills Plus, added: “Skills Plus is in a unique position in that because of our existing apprenticeship processes and systems, we can either co-ordinate and act as the representative for a group of companies, or, and probably more appealingly given the list of employer responsibilities also outlined, we can just employ the kickstart person on their behalf.”

For more information or to register your interest, please contact our dedicated Skills Plus service through Carmen Daley: or 07496 370 224.

Thanks to the British Woodworking Federation and Achieve+Partners, CITB have confirmed that the following standards have been approved for apprenticeship grant funding:

Over 2 years this equates to £8,500 for the employer:

Eligible employers will need to undertake the CITB apprenticeship YNET process to register and receive these grants

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