Apprenticeships and traineeships have long been a crucial employment pathway for many Australians, while providing businesses with a talented pool of skilled workers.

Apprenticeship and traineeship numbers have fallen in the past 10 years, but in 2021, businesses all over Australia are revisiting the apprentice and trainee model — and for good reason!

With a new wage subsidy scheme on offer, there’s never been a better time to employ a new apprentice or trainee in your business.

What are apprenticeships and traineeships?

Apprenticeships and traineeships provide individuals with the opportunity to train and study toward a nationally recognised qualification. 

They combine on- and off-the-job training, while allowing an individual to participate in the workforce and earn an income.

While similar in structure, apprenticeships typically take around four years to complete, while traineeships are usually completed in one or two years. 

Apprenticeships involve training towards a skilled trade (such as carpentry, plumbing or hairdressing) or non-trade (for example, hairdressing or child care), while traineeships involve training in a vocational area such as administration, child care, hospitality or events management.

Once dominated by young males undertaking apprenticeships in the trades, these days, people are being trained for new careers such .

“Gone are the days when the apprenticeship model was only used in construction and the trades,” said Maxima’s General Manager of Employment and Training, David Nagy.

“These days, people are being trained for new careers such as cybersecurity through traineeships.

“At Maxima, we work with a wide range of businesses from sole trader carpenters taking on their first staff member, right through to some of Australia’s biggest companies. 

“These include the Big Four banks, Australia Post, various state government departments as well as local councils, just to name a few.”

What benefits do apprentices and trainees provide to employers?

Not only will an apprentice or trainee help your business grow its talent pool and build a skilled workforce; they’ll give your business the opportunity to adapt your training according to business needs, bridge intergenerational divides, and the chance to upskill your existing workforce.

“The people that have been in the business for a long time can transfer their knowledge and skills to the next generation,” said David. 

“And because apprentices and trainees are undertaking accredited training courses, they’re able to bring new ideas and industry best-practices to your business, too.”

A recent UK study found that:  

  • 86% of employers believe apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation;
  • 78% of employers believe apprenticeships helped them improve productivity; and
  • 74% of employers believe apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service.

Research also shows that it is less costly to recruit apprentices over the longer run than to recruit adult, experienced workers – and staff turnover from hiring apprentices and trainees tends to be lower as people who have trained with a business are more likely to stay with that business.

As well as the obvious cost benefits of taking on an apprentice or trainee, we also find employers benefit from the flexibility of traineeships and find the talent pool particularly enthusiastic to learn new skills.”

The best part? Hiring an apprentice or trainee is now even more cost-effective, thanks to the current Government scheme…

Why now is the time to consider hiring an apprentice or trainee:

To assist with the recovery from the impact of COVID-19, the Australian Government launched the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy scheme in late 2020.

Through the subsidy, any business that engages an apprentice or trainee by 30 September 2021 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50 percent of wages paid to a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for a 12-month period from the date of commencement, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter.

There is no cap on the number of eligible apprentices/trainees, and the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy is in addition to the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy which has helped small and medium businesses to keep their apprentices and trainees in work and training.

“Hiring a trainee or apprentice is always a good idea — but the reason they’re a particularly good idea now is because of the wage subsidy,” explains David.  

“If your business doesn’t operate in a ‘typical’ apprenticeship or traineeship industry, we can also help you identify whether the work you need performed would suit an apprentice or trainee — you may be surprised by the diversity of qualifications on offer.

Looking for a new apprentice or trainee to boost your business in 2021? Let us help! Contact Maxima today on 1300 669 859 for a no-obligation chat with one of our consultants, or register your interest in becoming a host employer here