Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning is the term that is used to refer to courses, such as Traineeships and Apprenticeships, that provide you with real-life work experiences whilst applying academic and technical skills to enhance your employment opportunities.


An exciting new training programme will be introduced in the College from September 2020. The new Traineeship programme will be available in a range of sectors from September with further traineeships being introduced in the following year.  Training for Success Skills for Work Level 2 provision will no longer be available.

In September 2020, Traineeships will be available in the following areas:

What is a Traineeship?

The Traineeship will provide 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 will be available to those over 16 providing you with the skills and qualifications necessary to secure employment in their chosen occupation.  Each traineeship has been developed with employers to ensure that what you learn and the skills you develop are what employers are looking for.  The traineeship will allow you to progress to an apprenticeship at Level 3 or alternatively to Further Education at Level 3. 

The new Traineeship Programme will allow you to achieve a full Level 2[1] qualification and will comprise the following key elements:

  • A vocational qualification (equivalent to at least 3 GCSEs in the chosen occupational area)
  • Vocational Skills development
  • Developing wider work ready skills and digital 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

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.

The Traineeship programme will normally take up to two years to complete on a full time basis, but trainees may be able to progress quicker than this.

Entry Requirements  

Applicants will be required to hold a minimum of a Level 1 qualification defined as 4 GCSEs at grades D-G including Maths and English grades D-F or equivalent. Please note that there may be higher entrance requirements in a small number of occupational areas.


Traineeship Certificate

On successful completion of a traineeship, you will receive a full Traineeship Certificate issued by CCEA. Trainees successfully completing the traineeship can progress to apprenticeships at Level 3 or full time further education (FE) at Level 3.

Partial Achievement

Trainees who do not achieve all of the components will receive recognition for partial achievement. This may mean that the trainee passes the vocational Qualification but does not achieve a Grade C in English or Level 2 Communication or a Grade C in Maths or Level 2 in Application of Number. Trainees who have partial achievement may still be able to progress to FE Level 3, employment or to Apprenticeship.


Trainees who secure employment, in their chosen occupational area, during their traineeship can transfer seamlessly to Apprenticeship Level 2.  As an apprentice, if you become unemployed during your apprenticeship, you can transfer onto a Traineeship to complete your programme. 


On completion of the Traineeship, you can progress within your College to a Level 3 further education course or a Level 3 Apprenticeship (possibly with your work placement employer).  This can lead you to Higher Education options. 


Trainee Support


Health and Safety Equipment, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be supplied to trainees studying in specific curriculum areas. 

A vaccination programme for trainees in Health and Social Care courses undertaking placements in hospital settings will be organised by the college.

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Traineeship participants may be entitled to an Education Maintenance Allowance. EMA pays £30 per week and is available to 16-19 year olds (means tested) attending the Traineeship. 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.

Further Education Grant

FE Grants are available to trainees who are studying full-time courses and are 19+ on the 1st July 2020.

Trainees can get up to £2,092 per year (means tested, non-repayable).  The deadline to be guaranteed support is 30th June although applications are open until the 30th September.

Hardship Fund

If you are age 18 or over on 1 July 2020 and suffering from financial hardship you may be eligible for financial assistance through the College’s Hardship Fund. Assistance from the Hardship Fund is means tested and can only be provided once all other sources of funding have been explored. Childcare can be supported through the Hardship Fund if support is unavailable from the FE Award and Care to Learn.

Travel/Bus Pass

Trainees are eligible to apply for a bus pass.  Bus passes are issued through the Education Authority (EA). To receive a bus pass trainees 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.

Free School Meals

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

Care to Learn

If you are, or will become a parent and are aged between 16 and 19 at the start of the course then you may be entitled to assistance with childcare costs.


The details set out above may be subject to change by the Department for the Economy.

For further information please contact:
Sean McAleese, Training Manager
028 2566 4266 or 07554 118467

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