Information for Trainees

If you are looking for opportunities to gain work place skills and experience, then the ESP Programme at BHT Sussex could be for you! It will provide you with a work placement, training and support from your own dedicated Mentor.

The ESP Programme focuses on key employability skills and provides you with opportunities to learn and develop the types of skills that employers look for when recruiting new staff.

You may be eligible to take part in this programme if you:

  • have experienced homelessness, mental health difficulties, substance misuse problems, domestic violence and/or multiple complex needs
  • have been long-term unemployed or never previously employed
  • are in receipt of benefits.

Placements typically last for six months with a focus on employability, personal development, and professional development. Trainees begin working one or two days per week and have the opportunity to increase this commitment as the placement progresses.

We provide work experience in the following areas:

Advice and guidance
Care work
Computer work
Factory production

Fundraising and Publicity
General Office Work
Human Resources
Mental Health

Substance misuse
Support work
Warehouse work
Women’s services
Young people

Benefits of participating in the programme

  • Access to high quality training
  • A dedicated mentor to provide guidance and support
  • A tailored personal development plan
  • The opportunity to develop key employability skills.
  • Six months of valuable work experience
  • Assistance with crafting CVs, job applications, and interviews
  • Travel expenses reimbursed
  • References and training certificates

Frequently Asked Questions

The ESP Programme is for people who:

  • have experienced homelessness, mental health difficulties, substance misuse problems, offending, domestic violence and/or multiple complex needs
  • have been long-term unemployed or never previously employed
  • are in receipt of benefits.

No, trainees on the ESP Programme are not paid. Although unpaid, the programme offers valuable networking opportunities and a chance to gain practical experience in your field of interest, which could potentially lead to future job opportunities.

A positive outcome of being on the programme is getting back into employment, so it is an amazing achievement when a trainee finds themselves a job. You can leave the placement at any time and are under no obligation to remain on placement. You can also continue the programme alongside part-time employment if you wish.

Prior to starting a placement, you will take part in training on ‘Professionalism, Boundaries, and Confidentiality’ delivered by the Coordinator. Trainees also receive additional training through the BHT Sussex Training Department and have access to our E-learning platform.

While on placement, you will receive on-the-job training through guidance from your mentor and you will work together to identify any additional training opportunities within or external to BHT Sussex.

During the second half of placements, you will benefit from a range of Professional Development sessions. These include assistance with crafting effective CVs, filling out application forms, improving interview skills, creating covering letters, developing key employability skills, and navigating the job search process.

It is important that you show a level of motivation and commitment to your placement. To make the most out of the placement, we recommend setting clear goals for what you want to achieve, being proactive in seeking out new opportunities to learn and grow, building relationships with colleagues and professionals, utilising any resources or training opportunities offered by the programme and approaching work with a positive attitude.

How to apply

Please note: The programme is no longer taking applications.

To apply for the programme and take the next steps towards employment, please download the application forms below and submit the completed forms to Matilda Van Orden using the contact details below.

We would be more than happy to give you more information about the programme and answer any questions you might have to help you decide if it is right for you. If you meet the eligibility criteria and we think you will be a good fit for the programme, we will arrange to meet with you to discuss next steps.


My mentor was extremely approachable and very laid back in his attitude. He always had time for questions and never reprimanded me for my mistakes. He allowed to me to be a full member of the team and experience all of the tasks in which I would be asked of in the role."

- Ricky, Placement Participant

I’ve really enjoyed my placement. The help and support has been wonderful. My CV looks great now and I’ve learnt so much.”

- Placement Participant

Contact Us

01273 645435

Matilda Van Orden - ESP Programme Coordinator
144 London Road, Brighton. BN1 4PH

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