No matter your type of employment or the industry you work in, the COVID-19 pandemic meant we all had to adapt to a new way of working — or in many cases, not working.    

Of the more than 870,000 Australians who lost their jobs in the first few months of the COVID-19 crisis, a staggering 38 per cent were young Australians aged 15-24.  

Even now that the economy has begun to recover, the number of opportunities for young workers to ‘get their foot in the door’ seem few and far between.  

On the flipside, finding (and keeping) good employees is one of the most challenging things about being a business owner or employer.  

The solution?  

Investing in employees with the intention of educating and training them into the job, via an apprenticeship or traineeship.    With thousands of willing and able young Aussies desperately wanting to get back into the workforce — and some generous government incentives on the table — hiring an apprentice or trainee over a skilled worker could be a great investment for your business.     

What is an apprenticeship or traineeship?  

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a career where you earn an income while also completing a vocational qualification.  

An apprentice is someone who combines work and study to obtain a trade qualification in their industry, for example as a carpenter, chef or hairdresser – although employers can hire an Australian Apprentice in almost any industry. It typically takes between one to four years to complete, and anyone who’s old enough to work can be an apprentice, without requiring a secondary school certificate or any other qualification.  

A trainee is someone who combines work and study to obtain a certificate qualification in a particular industry or occupation, for example office work, childcare or information technology. It takes approximately one to two years to complete a traineeship.  

You can customise training to suit your business  

From day one, you can train your apprentice or trainee in ‘your way of doing the job’, increasing your business’s efficiency and productivity.  

You can also customise the training you provide to suit the needs of your business, by providing training in an area of your business wherever skills are required.   

And — with fresh eyes, an open mind, and often no prior experience in the industry — apprentices and trainees are eager to soak up any information, procedures and feedback with enthusiasm.  

This is in contrast to experienced workers, who often bring their last employer’s perspectives and processes to their new role, which can make training more difficult.  

Trainees and apprentices are motivated staff members  

By now, we all know about the benefits of a motivated workforce. One of the best things about hiring a trainee or apprentice compared to a skilled worker is that they are often more motivated and invested in their work as they gain new skills and put their knowledge into practice.  

But it’s not only trainees and apprentices that benefit from increased motivation — overall employee satisfaction can also increase when you have an apprentice or trainee within your ranks. Supervisors often notice an increased drive, satisfaction, and confidence in those staff who train others.  

Another motivating factor is the camaraderie that apprentices and trainees experience with other apprentices and trainees who start at the same time, and work up through the company together. Taking on apprentices or trainees instills the company culture from their first day, which can promote loyalty and longevity.  

A recent study found that 33 percent of companies in Australia had reported an increase in turnover rates over the last 12 months. If your business is among them, hiring a trainee or apprentice could just be the way to go.  

There are a range of financial incentives  

From lower starting salaries to government subsidies, there are a range of financial incentives that make hiring an apprentice or trainee over an experienced worker a smart financial decision for your business.    

On the whole, research shows that it is less costly to recruit apprentices over the longer term than to recruit adult, experienced workers, as staff turnover from hiring apprentices and trainees tend to be lower, and base salaries are lower.  

In addition, 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 31st March 2022 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 trainees/apprentices, 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.  

Want to hire a trainee or apprentice 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 head to the Maxima website to register your interest in becoming a host employer.