Information for Employers

What is traineeship?

Where can I get guidance on traineeship?

5 steps to creating a new traineeship

The Five-Step Guide to Traineeship in Ireland

What is traineeship?

Traineeships have been part of the Irish education and training system for over twenty years. Traineeship is a programme of structured training which combines learning in an education and training setting and in the workplace aiming to improve recruitment and employment outcomes for participants and increase retention and productivity within industry.

Traineeship enables employers to access a pipeline of talent and learners and gives participants the opportunity to develop cutting edge skills and knowledge on-the-job, making them more skilled, more employable and enhancing their career options.

Education and Training Boards (ETBs) are the primary providers of traineeships, working in partnership with employers.

Participating employers agree to provide a minimum of 30% of the programme as work-based learning. Where a new traineeship is being developed, employer representatives are asked to contribute to the design and content of the programme, to ensure that it meets the skills needs identified and is in a format that facilitates participation and success.

Currently, there are over 30 traineeship programmes available around the country. This number will increase with the development of more traineeships across a range of industries and sectors.

The below list sets out the suite of current traineeship programmes.


Where can I get guidance on traineeship?

Employers interested in an existing traineeship or in creating a new traineeship are invited to contact the Further Education and Training Director in their local Education and Training Board (ETB). There are 16 ETBs around the country.

Cavan & Monaghan Education and Training Board
Kerry Education and Training Board
City of Dublin Education and Training Board
Laois & Offaly Education and Training Board
Cork Education and Training Board
Limerick & Clare Education and Training Board
Donegal Education and Training Board
Longford & Westmeath Education and Training Board
Dublin & Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board
Louth & Meath Education and Training Board
Galway & Roscommon Donegal Education and Training Board
Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim Education and Training Board
Kildare & Wicklow Education and Training Board
Tipperary Education and Training Board
Kilkenny & Carlow Education and Training Board
Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board

Employers may wish to engage with one of the nine Regional Skills Fora around the country. Contact information is available on

5 steps to creating a new traineeship

There are five main steps involved in creating a new traineeship, from identifying a skills need to assessing the outcomes of the programme. Based on the experience of traineeship development over the past 10 years, it is estimated that development of a traineeship will in general take between 6-8 months.

Step 1- Liaison with industry partners to identify skills need

The first step in creation of a traineeship is to identify a skills need in a particular industry sector. This skills need is identified in a range of ways. Groups representing particular industry sectors and employers are to the fore. National and regional data and research on current and future skills shortages also contribute. ETBs play an essential role in engaging with industry to advise on what skills development opportunities are already available and on how an innovative traineeship in a new area could be designed and delivered.

A traineeship may be developed within a region and/or may be shared more widely. Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) and SOLAS will support and help coordinate traineeship development, providing information on skills needs that have been identified regionally and nationally, and helping to avoid any unnecessary duplication of programme development.

Step 2 - Collaborative programme development

During the programme development stage the design and content of the programme are developed by education and training providers in consultation with industry partners. The development timeline is agreed. An occupational skills profile, associated learning outcomes and clear progression paths are developed. The design of the programme includes innovative approaches to integrate learning in the workplace as well as off-the-job, including use of technology for learning and assessment. The content of the programme includes transversal as well as technical skills.

Each traineeship leads to an award at Levels 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications, or equivalent. Traineeships can lead to an industry-recognised certification or an award by a body such as City & Guilds. The programme duration will be between 6-20 months, with a minimum of 30% of learning in the workplace. Mechanisms to support and formally record on-the-job learning are developed.

Step 3 - Programme promotion and recruitment

A range of mechanisms are available to employers and education and training providers to promote traineeship opportunities and enrolments. Access and eligibility information is clearly set out within this guide and via Education and Training Boards, ETBI, Regional Skills Fora and other key stakeholders will promote traineeship opportunities regionally and nationally. Promotion will include specific information for particular groups. There is ongoing liaison with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to support access to traineeship for unemployed people. Industry groups and employers will be encouraged to support existing and prospective employees enrolling on traineeship programmes.

Step 4 - Programme delivery

Following enrolment, trainees will, in general, complete the majority of their programme with their local ETB. Employers and ETBs will work together to ensure that participants successfully complete the work-based element of the programme. ETBs will support employers and trainees during their on-the-job learning via scheduled visits and practical supports on work-based assessment. Employers may wish to avail of training for workplace coaches and mentors; new online options are being developed at present.

Step 5 –Outcome: Employment and progression

Following completion of their traineeship, it is intended that the majority of trainees will transition to employment. Some may also wish to continue immediately with their learning and development. Outcomes which include completion and progression to employment or further study will be monitored by ETBs and SOLAS via the national Programme Learning Support System (PLSS) database. This data will be supplemented by surveys and other feedback from employers and trainees.