Three steps to successfully take on an apprentice

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Taking on an apprentice can deliver benefits for your business. So how do you make sure things go smoothly?

According to Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, Alan Waldron a simple focus on attracting, training and retaining apprentices will make the difference for building companies looking to grow a sustainable business.

Alan, who is also the National Training Manager at one of Australia’s largest construction companies, Hutchinson Builders, says it’s important to view your apprentice as an asset, and to invest in their development.

Step 1: Attract

“Taking on the right person for an apprenticeship is vital,” says Alan.

“Don’t just accept a young person on because they are someone’s son or daughter. Your apprentice must be 100 per cent committed and genuinely want to establish a career in building and construction.”

“Look for someone who can articulate whythey want to get into the industry. Do they understand the physical nature of the work, the early starts and so on?”

Step 2: Train

Alan suggests being choosy about the RTO you have selected to train your apprentice when they’re not on the job with you.

“It’s a good idea to get involved with the RTO and find out what your apprentice is doing there. Ideally, your RTO will be responsive to your needs and help train your apprentice with the right skills for your business, at the right time.”

Step 3: Retain

“Keeping your apprentice on after they’ve qualified is a great way to achieve maximum value from your investment. After all, you’ve trained this person in how your business works and how you want things done – it’s a shame to see that investment walk out the door.”

“To hang onto your apprentice, give them a reason to stay. Look after them, pay attention to their personal development as much as their technical skills. Lead by example by showing empathy, being approachable and flexible.”

Need more information?

The Fair Work Ombudsman offers a free, handy guide to taking on an apprentice, which is available here.

Apprenticeships Support Australia provides free support for Australian employers who are hiring and managing apprentices.