Apprenticeships and traineeships have the best chance of success when both the candidates and employers work together to achieve mutually beneficial results.
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Mentorship programs are an approach that companies commonly use to give apprentices and trainees as much support as possible while they work towards their qualifications. But how important are they to a candidate’s development?
What the research says
A recent NCVER report revealed that formal and informal mentoring in the workplace are a key ingredient in encouraging apprentices and trainees to complete their training.
“Informal and peer-based mentoring practices play a significant role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of apprentices and are often superior to those provided under a formal mentoring arrangement,” said Dr Craig Fowler, Managing Director of NCVER.
“The paradox is that these practices are hard to ‘formally’ nurture; however, employers can create environments in which they can succeed.”
“Informal and peer-based mentoring practices play a significant role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of apprentices.”
Dr Fowler added that formal mentoring also works well, although the best results come when the mentors aren’t associated with the business. However, he noted that these programs should be used in addition to other apprenticeship and traineeship support arrangements, rather than as replacements.
The mentor-mentee relationship
One of the greatest benefits of mentorship programs is that they create two-way learning opportunities, as both the mentor and the mentee can learn from each other.
These relationships also often encourage the sharing of ideas, potentially bringing creative new solutions to historic company problems. Employees who have received mentoring can then provide similar help and guidance to other apprentices and trainees in the future.
As part of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, BUSY At Work offers an in-training support mentoring program that is tailored to the individual needs of apprentices and trainees to help them navigate the challenges of completing their qualification.
Ultimately, mentoring can be an important part of the training process when delivered correctly, helping candidates settle into their environment and learn more quickly than when left to their own devices.
However, you will need to partner your apprentice or trainee with the right person and monitor their progress to ensure the individual is developing.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator