Learning at Work Week – How can Traineeships flip youth unemployment on its head


Joe Crossley, CEO of leading national recruitment and training provider Qube Learning, firmly believes further education, particularly Traineeships, is a route to a sustainable career and positive future for many people. He says ‘Traineeships have been a pathway to learning and development since 2014 and play a pivotal part in supporting organisations to employ skilled workforces. Bringing in young, motivated individuals who are looking to make their marks with the right guidance and support, it’s a great opportunity for people to be propelled into professional realms they never thought attainable before.

‘We believe that how we recruit and credit people’s merits is crucial to reducing the skills gap and boosting employment in our country. It’s encouraging to see an increasing number of businesses adopting fairer recruitment processes and understanding the potential of all people, no matter what their backgrounds, implementing training programmes such as Traineeships, which allow those lacking traditional qualifications to learn and expand their knowledge within a professional capacity. This is a positive step towards a more equal society that does not discriminate because someone does not match up to the perceived gold standard. Traineeships support vulnerable young people to overcome barriers to employment, many of whom have struggled with mental health issues (which have increased due to Covid), digital poverty, lack of work readiness skills and soft skills. They support national and local businesses by creating a diverse recruitment solution, supporting them to invest in ‘home-grown talent’ and aiding the country’s economic climate.

‘A key aspect of Traineeships is they allow young people to ‘sample a career while training in an area of their choice, gaining valuable, practical work experience and increasing self-confidence. This allows them to work out if it’s the right career for them. It also provides assurance that if it isn’t what they had hoped for, they can walk away with a reference and skills they would not have had the opportunity to develop without such programmes being available. The same is true for Employers – it enables businesses to build a rapport with potential employees and make sure they adopt their values. Many companies we work with find that there is a real, measurable return on investment by working with a Trainee. Our data for the most recent academic year illustrates that an outstanding 85% of Trainees that stay on programme and complete their work placement progress on to a positive destination such as full-time employment or an Apprenticeship.

‘Since the Levy was introduced in April 2017, our data shows a surge in interest in Traineeship programmes from leading names across the Retail, Hospitality, Medical and Distribution sectors. They now see the huge advantages of the training that allows them to recruit their future workforce and give them adequate training and guidance. This interest has also spread across many schools and sixth forms, which is a positive step and gives people the opportunity to check what other routes are available to them aside from A-levels and degrees.

‘But it’s not just the Levy size Employers that see the reward of Traineeships, it’s also a great way for SMEs and smaller local businesses to find the next future talent. For smaller scale businesses, a Traineeship is outlined as a five-year career plan, giving added investment to both Employer and Trainee. Our model works with pathways many Employers have in place and we have had huge success training new, undiscovered, talented individuals who have left school with no qualifications and are now in full-time careers.

‘We are seeing more Employers taking advantage of Traineeship delivery and are using them as an opportunity to recover and grow their businesses, with young people supporting the longevity of their workforce. A Traineeship can also be the first step to an Apprenticeship and possibly a Degree Apprenticeship, but this isn’t always right for everyone, and programmes should be tailored to meet the needs of the Trainee and the Employer to maximise potential. The programme provides opportunities for people aged 16-24 and the positive outcomes show how it can be life changing for those who are unsure of their career path.

‘Our work with youth employment continues to grow with our commitment to seeing national data change for the good. Through our Kick Start Centres in poorer areas such as Bradford and Bolton, we can reach out to younger audiences with huge pools of talent that traditionally go unseen. It’s our drive to flip youth unemployment on its head that keeps us steadily pacing forward. We want businesses to empower young people to believe in themselves and climb their own ladders of success. Industries should open their eyes to growing and retaining talent, now more than ever it’s time to nurture someone’s genius and see what happens next…’

Qube learning have been delivering Traineeships since August 2015, with a small provision growing year on year, and have now developed nationwide relationships with large, medium and small Employers who are seeing the benefits and results of Traineeships.

Qube Learning is a proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider, delivering a range of training and qualifications to hundreds of Employers and Students across the country. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship, Traineeship or Qube Vision eLearning can bring, then speak with the experts at Qube Learning.