BlogThursday 13 Oct 2016

Top tips for hiring apprentices

Who you hire is one of the biggest decisions you make in your business. Whether you’re a small business hiring your first apprentice or trainee, or a big organisation with training and compliance on your mind, employees are your most valuable asset and often your biggest cost. It can be daunting to understand all the facts about apprenticeships and traineeships – there are over 500 different job types from hairdressers and plumbers to community services and media. Here are 7 easy steps from North Coast TAFE to keep choosing the right apprentice or trainee simple.

Step 1: Understand apprenticeships and traineeships

Australian Apprenticeships (often referred to as apprenticeships or traineeships) are structured training arrangements which can last from 9 months up to 5 years. Both arrangements require a commitment from the employer to train the employee in a specific trade or skill, and the employee must be prepared to work and learn to gain their nationally accredited qualification.

Practical experience at work is matched with training from a registered training organisation (RTO) like North Coast TAFE.

Step 2: Choose the right type of apprenticeship or traineeship for your business

Before you start recruiting, make sure you have chosen the right type of apprenticeship or traineeship for your business. You need to understand:

  • who is and isn’t eligible for the role
  • age requirements
  • existing skills required

whether the role is full-time, part-time or a school-based role.

Step 3: Understand your obligations

By hiring this new staff member as part of an apprenticeship and traineeship program, you are committing to:

  • employing them for the approved length of the apprenticeship or traineeship
  • meeting their training requirements
  • making time for on the job training or off-site training even when the workplace is busy
  • supporting them in the workplace.

Step 4: Know your options for finding an apprentice or trainee

  • Most people picture an apprentice or trainee as a young school leaver, but you can think outside the box for other options. Think about:
  • candidates still at school and eligible for a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship
  • older workers re-entering the workforce or changing careers
  • an existing employee right for the job.

Tip: Recruiting family or friends can be a tempting solution. Be careful – it can put a strain on relationships and make it difficult to manage any issues.

Step 5: Make sure the apprentice or trainee understands the role

Your candidate needs to understand the apprenticeship and traineeship system and the specific role including:

  • the length of the apprenticeship or traineeship
  • their training commitments
  • if any weekend or after hours work is required
  • what their career progression could be in your business.

There are no shortcuts in an apprenticeship, but if they are willing to make the commitment and you support them, you will gain a loyal employee with up to date training and an in-depth knowledge of your business.

Step 6: Look for a candidate interested in your business

A good apprenticeship or traineeship offers more than just trade skills that meet legislative and accreditation requirements.

The ideal candidate for the job should have an interest in learning broader skills across leadership, interacting in the workplace, new technologies and business management.

Step 7: Hire an apprentice or trainee through North Coast TAFE

North Coast TAFE can help you recruit an apprentice or trainee to join your business.

You need to get it right. Every employee represents your business and brand to customers and the community. North Coast TAFE will help you meet all your legislative and accreditation requirements and develop customised training programs including on-site training specific to your business.

Talk to TAFE today

Talk to North Coast TAFE about your apprentice or traineeship search. We’ll use our extensive network to help you recruit the right person for the job and make the most of your investment.  

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