Targeted support for apprentices completing the final years of their training will help boost completion rates and ensure small businesses retain skilled workers, Minister for Skills and Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, said today.
Launching a new report From apprenticeship to a career: an employer perspective on workforce development strategies, Senator Evans said it was clear small business faced a number of challenges in retaining apprentices during the final years of their training.
The report, commissioned by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry funded by the Australian Government, confirmed the need for investment in mentoring programs.
“The report highlights support in the final stages of an apprenticeship is important not only for individual career development, but also for business survival and growth,” Senator Evans said.
“That is why the Government committed $100 million this year to mentoring programs to ensure people choose the apprenticeship that is right for them and are given individual support to complete their training.”
Senator Evans said the report also highlights that employers must ensure apprentices see a career path beyond their training.
“Employers need different strategies to assist apprentices to move from the final stage of an apprenticeship to a rewarding career in industry,” he said.
“The report found many employers do not have a systematic approach to addressing these issues as their resources are limited and they are inexperienced in developing workforce development plans. This is very common in small businesses.
“Improved workplace productivity will be achieved by employers maximising the skills and capabilities of their workforce.”
Senator Evans said the report’s findings were in line with the Australian Government’s Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel.