Getting an apprentice can really help you and your business and give an opportunity to a young person to get trained in a trade.
There can also be government incentives for taking on an apprentice.
But in order for it to be a win/win it’s important to get it right, because it’s a working relationship and on-the-job training commitment that can last up to four years.
How do I find one?
There’s a lot of great information online about where and how to find an apprentice.
A good place to start is Apprentice Support Australia.
Describing themselves as the, “go-to destination for candidates looking for entry level roles, apprenticeships, traineeships and graduate positions with thousands of Australia's youth registered,” you can advertise for free on their skills board.
Employers can list vacancies and monitor applicants free of charge, while job seekers can apply directly online for positions that interest them.
Get help from a group training organisation
Another excellent resource is the National Apprentice Employment Network, which can put you in touch with a Group Training Organisation (GTO).
A GTO can give expert advice and assistance to find the right apprentice.
Group training is a cost effective way to take on an apprentice or trainee.
A GTO employs them and places them with a host business until the apprenticeship is completed.
They also manage the recruitment process, the training contracts, wages, training delivery and monitor skill development.
Other advantages of going down this route is that the GTO can change the trainees to suit your business, and can provide flexibility so you’re not locked into a long-term training contract.
They also organise apprenticeships in both city and regional areas.
Finally, if you want to find an apprentice yourself you can advertise independently or pay a recruitment agency.
Choosing the right person
Given that you’ll be having a daily working relationship with your apprentice or trainee, it’s important to find someone you think you can get along and enjoy working with.
But there are also some other important qualities that should you look for.
As with any potential employee – interview and check references. You might also want to do a probity check, which includes criminal records.
Make sure they’re keen, respectful, punctual, and quick to learn and find out if they;re genuinely interested in the industry.
Applicants obviously won’t have much experience but they do need to be enthusiastic.
What if it doesn’t work out?
Like all relationships, not every apprenticeship goes smoothly.
Scott, an Antenna Installer found out his apprentice of two years had been skipping college one day a week for over six months and hadn’t told him.
“I was totally shocked and it took me a long time to regain trust, but he was a good apprentice and we worked it through because it was easier than starting again with someone new. He had to make up the college time though.”
If you do want to terminate an apprenticeship, you have to do it formally.
Find out more about how to do that here:
Is your business ready?
If you don’t go with a GTO you will need to have training and support programmes in place for your apprentice.
Take this test to see if you are ready…
Update your business insurance
Remember to update your Business Insurance if you take on an apprentice or trainee, or need to buy additional equipment.