Skip to main content

Northern Ireland Traineeship Programme – Employer Engagement

Commencing September 2021

From September 2021 a new Northern Ireland Vocational Education and Training (VET) Programme will be introduced in Further Education Colleges. The NI Traineeship will provide a high-quality vocational education and training programme at Level 2, including structured work-based learning, to individuals who are not yet in employment or not yet working in their chosen occupational area.

Work Based Learning, in conjunction with local employers, is a critical element of Traineeship. Placement in a suitable work environment makes the learning ‘real’ and supports the development of work ready skills.

This new programme will be able to provide enhanced confidence and employment skills to our trainees as well as progression pathways to Level 3 Further Education and Level 3 Apprenticeship programmes.

Available Areas

Belfast Met is currently seeking to partner with employers to provide work-based learning placements across the following 22 subject areas commencing this September:

  • Agriculture
  • Auto-electrics
  • Brickwork
  • Business Administration
  • Butchery
  • Carpentry and Joinery
  • Electrical Installation
  • Engineering
  • Floor and Wall Tiling
  • Hairdressing
  • Horticulture
  • Land Based Engineering
  • Motor Vehicle (Heavy)
  • Motor Vehicle (Light)
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Plant Maintenance
  • Plastering and Dry Wall Lining
  • Plumbing
  • Refrigeration
  • Retail
  • Vehicle Body Repair
  • Vehicle Paint Refinishing


Employers offering a Traineeship must be able to:

  • Offer a minimum of 20% of the programmes as work-based learning (typically 1 day per week);
  • Provide evidence of agreed employee and public liability insurance;
  • Provide the same health and safety protection as an employee would get.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a placement last?

The model of placement will depend on which programme your Trainee is on but as a general rule Trainees will have one day placement per week. In some cases, this may be a more intensive block placement with the Trainee in the workplace more days per week but over a shorter duration.

What if I want a trainee to work extra days?

If you would like your Trainee to spend more time in the workplace you have the option to employ them for any additional days including the summer months. You may wish to consider offering your Trainee an Apprenticeship, in which case, he or she will normally be in the workplace for 4 days per week.

What if I decide that I would like my trainee to become an apprentice?

There is easy transferability between Traineeship and Apprenticeship Level 2. The qualifications on both programmes are aligned, so your Trainee can transfer to ApprenticeshipNI at any stage during their Traineeship.

What are the rules on Health and Safety relating to placements?

You should follow the same Health & Safety rules that your company has in place for all employees. This will include, providing them with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Do I have to pay a trainee for time spent in placement?

No, as a placement provider, you are not expected to pay anything to the Trainee. (Should you agree to employ a Trainee under the Apprenticeship NI scheme then as an apprentice they must be paid by the employer.)

How do employers get involved?

Employers interested in supporting a trainee through the work-based learning element of the Traineeship are invited to contact their local Further Education College’s training unit.