Information for Trainees

What is a traineeship?

Am I eligible?

Where can I find out more about traineeship?

What is a traineeship?

Traineeship 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.

Traineeship is a programme of structured training which combines learning in an education and training setting and in the workplace aiming to improve employment outcomes for participants and increase retention and productivity within industry.

Traineeships have a number of key features which are listed below and in The Five-Step Guide to Traineeship in Ireland


  • They respond to an identified industry skills need
  • Lead to an award at NFQ Levels 4-6, or equivalent
  • Are between 6-20 months in duration
  • Have at least 30% of learning on-the-job
  • Combine transversal and technical skills development
  • Are designed for flexible delivery - online, face to face, blended learning
  • Provide open access to prospective trainees, unemployed people may be eligible for income support


Currently, there are over 50 traineeship programmes available around the country. New traineeships are developed on an ongoing basis across a range of industries and sectors in response to identified skill needs.

The current suite of traineeship programmes can be viewed under the Traineeship Programmes section. Some of these programmes may not be open for registration at a particular time. Details of traineeship programmes currently open for registration is available on www.fetchcourses.ie.

Am I eligible?

Traineeships are open to all potential participants, of all ages and backgrounds, and are free of charge to participants. Trainees may include school leavers, older learners, those in employment and those who are unemployed.

People who are unemployed and wish, following engagement with their Intreo Case Officer, to access traineeship to upskill for employment, may be eligible for a training allowance or income support.

As of November 2017, eligibility and support to participate in a traineeship has been expanded. In line with the Pathways to Work 2016-2020 strategy, the Comprehensive Framework for Employment of People with Disabilities and the Action Plan on Jobless Households, eligibility to participate in a traineeship now includes unemployed people who are in receipt of the following payments:

  • Jobseekers Benefit
  • Jobseekers Payment
  • One Parent Family payment
  • Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST)
  • Disability Allowance

Eligible persons must also be resident in the state and hold a valid PPSN.

Those in receipt of one of the payments above are eligible to retain their payment while participating in a traineeship. Prospective participants who fulfil these criteria are referred by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) to an Education Training Board (ETB) and receive a training allowance for the duration of their training.

Where can I find out more about traineeship?

The current suite of traineeship programmes can be viewed under the Traineeship Programmes section. Some of these programmes may not be open for registration at a particular time. Details of traineeship programmes currently open for registration is available on www.fetchcourses.ie

Further information on traineeship programmes may also obtained from your local Education and Training Board (ETB). Details of your local ETB can be found on the Education and Training Boards Ireland webpage directory of ETBs.

There is a range of guidance services available for those interested in traineeship. Prospective trainees may wish to access the guidance services in their local ETB, at second level or in higher education. For information on where to access guidance, see their website at www.igc.ie

Intreo offices and Local Employment Services also provide a guidance service locally and regionally to jobseekers. See their websites at www.welfare.ie and www.localemploymentservices.ie