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Are you ready for an apprentice?

By CCIWA Editor 

Secure your skills for the future by planning ahead 

Employing apprentices and trainees now can set your business up with the skills it needs for the future. But how do you know if your business is ready to hire an apprentice or trainee?  

According to Apprenticeship Support Australia Manager Lena Constantine, most businesses will already have policies and procedures in place and will just need to refer to the relevant Award.  

“There will be a lot of employers out there who know they need a tradie because they know want to upskill in say electrical or another skill because they’ve done it many times before and they know they just need a new person,” she said.  

“In those instances, it is really easy because they know they just need a new person. But for those who are new at this we will sit down with them and explain how the whole system works.” 

Hiring as part of a future workforce strategy is the key to making the recruitment a success. 

“It really is the long-term workforce planning outcome that we try and talk to employers about. If an employer is looking for skills right now and they are going to put on an apprentice to get those skills right now, that is where you are going to get that mismatch,” she said.  

“If they expect to use the apprentice as their skills and not think about the process and that they need three or four-year to develop them, that’s when things might not work out.” 

Constantine says employers often have questions around how much time is needed for training, how much paperwork is involved and what regulations they must adhere to.  

“They also want to know about the incentive support as well in terms of what is there to help them with that and what does ASA do to help them through the process, which is mentoring support if they don’t already have it in the workplace, a hotline for apprenticeship to call any time, we can refer you to the Employer Relations Advice Centre if they need additional employee advice on what’s in their awards.  

“That seems to be a big issue for employers, as in who does what and who has to pay for what, which really comes down to the award that it falls under.”  

“There is a recruit ready tool on our Apprenticeship Support website that allows employers to test whether they are ready to put on an apprentice in the workplace.”  

Recruiting apprentices and trainees can take anywhere from a week if the employer has already found someone and knows what they are doing to a couple of months if they need to set up their policies and procedures. 

“The key point is to understand what is in your Award because it will outline trainee rates and wages and who pays for what. So, if employers are across that it makes it easier to understand what their role is. Then talk to Apprenticeship Support Australia about their obligations of what they need to do in the workplace and that’s what we’re here to do, help with that process,” Constantine said.  

Secure your skills for the future by planning ahead 

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