Regrettably the Wood Trades Mentoring Scheme ceased on June 30 2015. The Scheme has been highly successful and recently reported to the Federal Government an 83% retention rate for those apprentices signed up to the Scheme. This is a significant improvement on the 51% completion rate of all Wood Trades apprentices reported in 2012. Mentoring projects funded by the Government in other industries, such as Glass and Glazing and Building and Construction are reporting similar results.
The success of the Federal Government’s investment in apprenticeship mentoring over the past two years has been reflected in a raft of training reforms with mentoring now forming part of the new role of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, formally Australian Apprenticeship Centres.
In addition to offering support with the sign-up process and assessing eligibility for government incentives, Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers will identify apprentices who are at high-risk of non-completion and provide tailored support such a mentoring. In Western Australia AASN providers include:
Providing supervision and support is a major obligation of employers entering into apprenticeship contracts. Under State Government policy, the level of supervision is aimed at facilitating the successful achievement of competency for each apprentice. In particular, a person employing an apprentice must ensure that supervision is carried out by a qualified tradesperson or competent workplace supervisor, that consideration is given to the type of work being undertaken, the level of competence of the apprentice, and the location and general circumstances in which the work is being carried out.
Many leaders believe that how employees feel about their jobs starts and ends with their direct supervisor. If employees feel that their supervisor takes a real interest in their development or offers praise and recognition they are highly likely to be engaged. Extensive research by Gallop (2013) reveals that trying to get employees to fix their weaknesses doesn’t work and tends to only breed non-engagement. Great supervisors will build on employees’ strengths and when employees work from strengths, nothing motivates them to achieve more – not money, not holidays, not extra benefits. Food for thought!
The views and opinions expressed are those of Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council of WA Inc.