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How to improve your apprentice and trainee retention

Apprenticeships and traineeships enable people to earn while they learn, eventually resulting in a qualification that can be the first step on the road to a new career.

Unfortunately, not all apprenticeships and traineeships are a success, and some candidates fail to finish their placement once they’ve started. According to new figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the number of completions dropped from 53.5 to 52.4 per cent in 2014.

Dr Mette Creaser, national manager of statistics and analysis at NCVER, said around one-third of apprentices and trainees leave within the first year.

“Our research shows that the most commonly cited reason for not completing an apprenticeship or traineeship is employment-related, such as not liking the work or not getting along with colleagues or employers,” she commented.

This is why the initial stages of beginning an apprenticeship or traineeship are so important for candidates and employers. It’s crucial that companies identify applicants who will be the best fit for their organisation.

Apprenticeship Central is designed to help businesses and individuals find the perfect match when it comes to offering a placement. The site is full of valuable tools, resources and advice, including tips on how to improve apprentice and trainee retention.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) recommends a systematic approach to ensuring apprentices and trainees stay the course. A report from the ACCI indicated five main factors that have an impact on an employer’s ability to retain good-quality apprentices and trainees.

Recruitment: The effectiveness of an organisation’s hiring and induction processes has a significant effect on retention. Businesses are advised to implement careful and thorough recruitment procedures in order to land the best candidates.

Quality training: An apprentice or trainee is much more likely to continue working towards their qualification if they feel the training from their employer and training provider is up to scratch.

Level of support: Apprentices and trainees feel the level of professional and personal support they receive from a company are an important issue when deciding whether or not to complete a placement.

Meaningful tasks: Employers must provide apprentices and trainees with work that enhances their skills and offers a valuable contribution to the company’s ongoing operation.

Government information: Companies should try to be aware of any advice or recommendations the government can provide regarding apprentice and trainee retention.

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