What is a traineeship?

A traineeship is a work- and educational program at a company. You fulfill a fulltime position within the company. Next to that, the company offers you a training program to extend your knowledge and practical skills. The duration of a traineeship can differ per company, it can vary from 3 months to 2 years.

There’s a lot of different traineeships. The thing they all have in common is the fact that a traineeship is aimed to help get young talent ready for a more senior position in an organization. A traineeship is focussed on the combination of working and learning. Examples of traineeships are a management traineeship or an IT traineeship.

During a traineeship, you will receive the responsibilities and salary of a starters job, despite the educational aspect of the program. As a trainee, you work during a short amount of time on different projects within multiple divisions of a company. You get different trainings from people from inside and outside the company. The trainings are focussed on job-specific skills, but also on your own personal development. The goal of the traineeship is to prepare and train you for a function as a manager or specialist that can be up and running after the traineeship.

Are you suitable as a trainee?

There are specific requirements if you want to start at a company as a trainee. Companies are looking for ambitious and talented graduates that are self-aware. It’s a plus if you gained worked experience abroad or joined a dispute during your studies. The personality characteristics that are expected from a trainee are: flexible, proactive, organizational, managerial, cooperative and hard working. An average selection can consist of six interview rounds. Most of the time an assessment is part of the selection.

Ask yourself if a traineeship is what you’re looking for. It is, after all, a choice that you make for the long term. Next to that, companies can set up a rule that says you have to pay back the education cost of the program if you decide to end the traineeship prematurely.

How to find a traineeship?

Most large organizations offer traineeships. You can find them on the site of the employer, but also on specific traineeship websites:

YoungCapital traineeships
Traineeships Overzicht
Traineeship Plaza
De Beste Traineeships

Traineeships are very popular amongst graduates and most of the time there are more candidates than spots. A way to get in is to subscribe to a business course. A business course is a recruitment activity organized by companies that offer traineeships. You work for multiple days on a specific business case in groups of around 15 to 20 people. You also meet the board of the company and its employees. This is a perfect way for you to discover if the traineeships is a good fit for you, but also ideal for companies to determine who might be a fit for them. For some traineeships a business case is the only way to get in, so also for the business course is a strict selection.

You can also visit inhouse days if you’re still undecided wether you want to follow a traineeship. This way you can get to know the organization and the recruiters of the company. A selection can be part of being selected for an inhouse day.