Apprentices: How to keep them happy and engaged

Apprentices form the backbone of small businesses. However if you employ one and they end up leaving, it can prove to be extremely costly, especially if you’ve invested 6-12 months in training. You also need to factor in the costs associated with recruiting and re-training a new apprentice. 

That’s why keeping your young apprentices happy and engaged is so important.

After many years of experience in working with employers and apprentices, Apprenticeship Careers Australia (ACA) have identified several key factors that influence apprentices leaving their employers:

•    Having a bad relationship with their boss or co-workers.
•    Having a poor commitment to their training.
•    A lack of a strong support network such as friends and family.
•    A lack of structured training.
•    Availability of other career paths.

Although some of the factors influencing dropout rates are driven by their own motivation, creating a positive environment can help improve apprentice commitment. Here are some practical things you can do to keep your apprentices happy:


1.    Make a good first impression

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It might go without saying, but keeping your apprentices engaged early on goes a long way to keeping them happy and motivated. Up to 60% of apprentices drop out in their first year. So making the right first impression makes a big difference in retaining them for the long run. 
 

2.    Get to know your apprentices

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It is important to ensure your apprentices are highly engaged with your business, which helps them to feel safer, focused and in turn, more productive. Building strong relationships and knowing their strengths goes a long way to making them feel truly comfortable in their working environment as well. You should also challenge them so they grow and develop their skills, but also provide adequate support and direction when they need it. Your role a boss should be multi-faceted – mentor, teacher and supporter.


3.    Provide structured on the-job training

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One of the most common causes of apprentice disengagement is the lack of structured training and this can be remedied through open communication, strong planning and ensuring they have clear goals. Making apprentices aware of milestones and achievements is a great way to motivate them and provide them with a big picture mentality.

 
How can we help?

By signing on with a group training organisation (GTO) like us, we help manage the motivational aspects by providing quality training and support throughout the apprenticeship term as well as providing coaching services to ensure their success. To find out more, contact us today by calling 1300 765 155.
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