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Creating a supportive environment for your apprentices

Creating a supportive environment for your apprentices

Open communication lines with your employees to help foster a good working relationship.

If you decide to take on an apprentice or trainee in your workplace, you open up a wealth of opportunities not only for your new worker, but also your own company.

The Department of Education, Training and Employment says Australian Apprenticeships can help to train future workers and supervisors, improve training culture, create employment opportunities for people in the local community, and develop loyal, motivated workers.

While the view is often held that apprentices and trainees are mostly high school students or young adults, there are also mature age apprenticeships for those aged 45 and over who want to get qualified in a skill.

This joins adult apprenticeships and school-based apprenticeships (high school students), which can serve as a stepping stone in the careers of those pursuing a trade.

In order to get the best out of your apprenticeship experience, it’s important to create a supportive environment for your new employee.

You need to provide a safe working environment for your employees, allow them every opportunity to learn the required skills and gain knowledge from your trade, give them access to on and/or off-the-job training and give them paid time off work for training when needed.

Here are some tips on how you can foster a good working relationship.

Clarify employment conditions

Ensure you and your apprentice or trainee start off on the right foot by going through the employment conditions together.

Provide a typed copy of working hours, pay, workplace rules and guidelines, leave conditions and other necessary information.

It’s a good idea to set some time aside before you start the apprenticeship to speak with your new employee and run through the information.

You might find that there was some conditions they didn’t understand and need to explain.

Run through safety precautions

This is especially important from day one to ensure that your new employees are safe in their new environment.

Dealing with heavy, dangerous machinery can be a brand new experience for apprentices and trainees, especially if they’re fresh from high school.

Run through each piece of equipment/machinery they will be dealing with, demonstrating the appropriate safety measures.

To help really drill in safety procedures, provide your employees with a quick and easy fact sheet to serve as a reminder.

Be approachable

Your apprentices or trainees may not ask you for help, even if they really need it, if they perceive you to be unapproachable.

Set the record straight from your first meeting, letting them know that they can approach you – or another relevant staff member if they have any questions.

Establishing this open flow of communication will help to make their time with your company much more fruitful, and will also make your job easier.

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