What is a traineeship and is it for me?

There are more than 75 programmes available across the country, which are all free of charge

What is a traineeship?

Traineeships are schemes that combine classroom education and hands-on work experience, and are run by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in conjunction with industry representative bodies and employers. There are more than 75 traineeship programmes available across the country, and each traineeship includes a minimum of 30 per cent on-the-job learning. Since the traineeship programme was introduced in 1995, there have been more than 30,000 trainees and over 1,500 participant companies and employers that have taken on trainees for the on-the-job portion of their traineeship.

Not all traineeships will be accepting new applicants at any given time, and more information on which traineeships are accepting applicants can be found at fetchcourses.ie.

Traineeships combine technical skills development related to a specific area of work, with transferable skills that can be applied to many areas. The traineeships programmes are developed with industry skills and needs in mind, ensuring that trainees finish their training in the best position possible to enter the world of work.

There are also industry specific traineeships, such as those in law and finance. Each of these have their own format and requirements, and are a prerequisite to becoming qualified within that industry. These kinds of traineeships are separate to those run by ETBs across Ireland.


How long does a traineeship last?

Traineeships can last anywhere between six and 20 months, depending on the industry and qualification.

Where can I do a traineeship?

Traineeships are run by your local ETB. There are 16 ETBs across the country, many of which have sub-offices in their constituency, and even more local providers who run the courses themselves, such as FET centres, colleges of further education, community colleges and more. For example, in Tipperary ETB, the headquarters is in Nenagh but there is a sub-office in Clonmel and there are 13 main centres across Tipperary where people can undertake their traineeship.

ETBs organise the on-the-job elements of your traineeship for you, so there is no need for you to seek a placement as part of your training. During the on-the-job portion of your traineeship you will be supported by an in-company mentor who will monitor your progress and assist you where necessary.

How do I find a traineeship?

Second level or higher education students and adult learners interested in pursuing a traineeship can source information from their local ETB, while jobseekers can find more information from their local Intreo office or Local Employment Service. Traineeships are available in many different areas, such as business, engineering, hospitality, media, tourism, finance, construction and more.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a traineeship?

Traineeships are open to people of all ages, backgrounds and skill sets, including recent school leavers, people seeking to retrain or reskill, older learners, those wishing to return to work and others. For some traineeships that are NFQ Level 6, an NFQ Level 5 will be required.

What qualifications will I leave with?

Upon completion of their traineeship, trainees leave with a qualification between NFQ Level 4 and 6.

What can I do after the traineeship?

Some traineeships offer transfers into third-level courses and in some instances traineeships can allow former trainees to enter directly into their second year of a third-level course, based on the credits they accrued over the course of their traineeship.

Some trainees go on to complete apprenticeships following their training, while others go straight into careers, getting full-time jobs in the sector or industry they completed their traineeship in.

What are the fees?

Traineeships are free of charge for participants. They are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund, and are part of the European Social Fund’s Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

Can I avail of Government grants or other financial assistance while doing a traineeship?

Those in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit, jobseeker’s payment, one-parent family payment, jobseeker’s transitional payment or disability allowance are able to retain their payment while completing their traineeship. Candidates not receiving the above payments may be eligible for a training allowance or income support for the duration of their traineeship, and should contact their local ETB for more information.

Further information on traineeships can be found at solas.ie and traineeship.ie, or from your local ETB.