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U.K. Disability Apprenticeships - Information and Fact Sheets

  • Published: 2015-10-19 (Revised/Updated 2017-01-23) : Author: Disabled World : Contact: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Information and fact sheets regarding applying for an apprenticeship for persons with a disability in the U.K..
Traineeship - Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships and traineeships are defined as ways to become trained and qualified in a trade or particular type of job. Apprenticeships and traineeships can be full-time, part-time or school-based. An apprenticeship or traineeship provides benefits, such as:

  • Real life experience in the workplace.
  • Recognized qualification(s) on completion of training.
  • Ability to work and earn money while you're getting your qualification.
  • Both classroom and workshop learning (off-job) and practical (on-job) learning.

Most of the apprentice training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession, often in exchange for their continued labor for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies. Apprenticeships typically last 3 to 6 years.

Main Document

"More and more employers are seeing the ability, rather than the disability when it comes to recruiting talented apprentices."

Today, apprenticeships can offer a gateway into a variety of careers. The number of U.K. disabled people in apprenticeships has more than tripled in the last 10 years. With the recently launched Disability Confident campaign to help more disabled people into apprenticeships and jobs, these figures look set to grow.

With thousands of students across England considering their next path after their GCSE results, the Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper says a disability shouldn't be a barrier to getting an apprenticeship: "More and more employers are seeing the ability, rather than the disability when it comes to recruiting talented apprentices. Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular choice for young people and it's absolutely right that disabled people are taking advantage of these opportunities."

Disabled people on traineeships, supported internships, work trials and work academies are able to get additional help through the Access to Work scheme - which provides funding towards the extra costs disabled people face in work, such as travel costs, specially adapted equipment or support workers.

Don't immediately rule out an apprenticeship if you think your disability may be a barrier.

Many U.K. employers offer support or equipment to help you do your job. You can also apply for Access to Work funding from the government which can cover extra costs -

In England most vacancies are listed on the National Apprenticeship Service website - Registering on the site is a good first step. You can also approach companies directly to ask if they have any opportunities for an apprentice.

Into Apprenticeships is a new guide for disabled people, parents and key advisers about applying for apprenticeships in England. It deals with common questions such as how to find an apprenticeship, whether the training will be accessible and what support is available in the workplace.

Equality and diversity good practice fund

The equality and diversity good practice fund provides grants to Skills Funding Agency-funded providers. Resources and case studies from previous grant-funded projects are available at


There are more than eleven million disabled people in Great Britain, of whom nearly six million are of working age. By hiring and supporting disabled apprentices, employers find that they are better able to extend the pool of high-quality applicants available to them; engage with the widest possible consumer base; and have a workforce that reflects the diverse range of customers they serve -

There is also a special toolkit designed for U.K. employers that want to develop a more inclusive and accessible apprenticeship offer. It provides practical information, sources of support and inspirational case studies of employers who have benefited from hiring and supporting disabled apprentices -

Traineeships: information for employers and education providers

London Apprenticeship Project

In the past The London Apprenticeship Project - (now closed) - aimed to promote more inclusive apprenticeships for disabled people living or working in London. The pilot was funded by Trust for London and lead by Disability Rights UK. Our aim was to engage with London based employers to demonstrate that access to apprenticeships for disabled applicants can be significantly improved with the relevant guidance and support.

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3 : U.S. Employers Who Train Apprentices - Return on Investment Study : Case Western Reserve University.
4 : U.K. Disability Apprenticeships - Information and Fact Sheets : Disabled World.
5 : Australian Disability Apprenticeships: Information & Fact Sheets : Disabled World.
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