Productive apprentices earn more for your business

Productive apprentices earn more for your business

  • Published on Friday 21 February, 2014
  • 3 min. to read



A number of business factors appear to influence the outcome of apprenticeships. Employers in business for 10 or more years are far more likely to retain their apprentices in comparison with employers who have been in business for less than five years.Whereas over 95% of interviewed employers rate themselves as a good boss; unfortunately apprentices don’t agree – less than 75% say they have a good boss and in some groups this is as low as 49%.


Experience as a boss with apprentices matters.

The more experience they have had the better their apprentice completion rates. They learn from their mistakes and listen to advice.

Attitude as a boss matters.

The attitude of the employer can greatly contribute to the cause of apprentices not completing. GenY apprentices are quick to pick up the clues from their employers; they feel that they are already sacrificing wages in exchange for training and respond negatively to employers who harp on about profitability and costly mistakes.

The time spent mentoring matters. 

80% of apprentice bosses not only run the business but also look after the apprentice’s pay and conditions. That puts enormous pressure on employers who want to mentor their apprentice, but can’t find the time. In such situations, the apprentice gets in a difficult position if they want to talk to someone about a work problem, a pay rise or their working conditions.

However, the employers with good retention rates, even if they are in small businesses, tend to have someone looking after or helping out with HR matters. Successful employers also take the apprenticeship relationship seriously and make sure that they are doing what they are supposed to do for the apprentice; they stick to the deal in practice as well as on paper.

Learning from other employers matters. 

The larger businesses, with the best track records, are most likely to say that they have been influenced by their industry body; whereas our research indicates low retention rate employers don’t take advice.

The more successful employers have established guidelines for recruiting workers and apprentices and most importantly, take input or advice from others – partner, colleague, industry association – about recruiting, employing and managing apprentices.

Matching the apprentice to the trade matters.

Not only are one in three apprentices likely to leave their apprenticeship in the first year, of the 55% that complete, some leave the trade immediately after they qualify.

Feedback from MEGT’s apprentices is that they were dedicated to finishing and had a good work attitude. But they never did like that particular trade. Carrying out some type of testing to see if the job seeker is right for your trade, is clearly well worth doing.

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