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The baking industry is in an interesting place. On one hand, we have the prevalence of bespoke bakeries with specialised, high quality goods and enviable Pinterest pages; on the other there is the mass production of everyday goods, such as our bread, available around the clock. “Baking is a skilled job and we are seeing more people turn back to specialist businesses for their needs than ever before,” says Dale Jackley from Jackley’s Bakehouse.

“Apprenticeships help to invigorate the industry with young, enthusiastic workers, which in turn stimulates the industry” Like most skill-based industries, it’s vital to keep the team strong and skilled, and apprenticeships are the best driver to do that.”

Research has shown that apprenticeships offer a myriad of benefits to employers. By investing in talent development through apprenticeships employers gain a pipeline of loyal skilled workers, increase productivity, and improve the bottom line.

Where eligible, the Australian Government provides a range of financial assistance to businesses that invest in apprenticeships and traineeships, but what other reasons could businesses look at apprenticeships as viable business strategies?

We speak to Amanda Sophios, the National RTO Manager from Training Connections Australia, to give the top five reasons to consider apprenticeships and traineeships in your business.

ONE: Train the Tradie

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a great vehicle for businesses to train and develop both new and existing staff. By investing in a well-trained workforce, you are ensuring that your staff are receiving the most up-to-date education and training in your industry.

With over 500 apprenticeship and traineeship courses currently available in Australia over a broad range of occupations, choosing an option that is highly targeted to the needs of your business is easy. Training achieves a nationally-recognised qualification that is developed by the specific industry. Because much of the training is done at your workplace, the skills acquired by your apprentice or trainee can be customised and relevant to the needs of your business.

TWO: Build your workforce to allow you to work ON your business rather than IN your business

As your business grows and your existing staff find themselves with more to do, an apprentice or trainee can be delegated smaller tasks while they are training. Having an extra set of hands can go a long way towards reducing job-related stress among your more senior employees. Ultimately, an apprentice becomes an additional resource for you to utilise when all hands are on deck.

THREE: Succession planning for the business

Studies have shown that when an apprentice or trainee is given the opportunity to learn key skills as part of a business, they are far more likely to be committed to its long term goals. The benefit here is that in addition to strengthening the future of your industry, you’re also ensuring that your business will have the dedicated workers required for continued success. Staff retention can be difficult in highly competitive industries, and a skills shortage means that experienced workers are in higher demand. Training an apprentice is one of the best ways to keep your most valuable staff on hand, and plan for future business decisions.

FOUR: Apprenticeships support industry skill shortage needs

According to the quarterly business survey released by National Australia Bank in December 2018, 50% of businesses had trouble finding workers with the right skills. This means that employers are unable to find workers with the right skill set for vacant roles. With a lack of experienced professionals available, the next step is to train up workers to fill these positions. An Australian Apprenticeship is the most effective way of doing this.

FIVE: Increase your community engagement

By taking on apprentices or trainees and providing real career pathways, your business will demonstrate that it is committed to investing in your local community and its members. This drives a positive perception of your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, and you’ll be seen as a professional, progressive company – which is good for attracting new customers, retaining existing ones, and obtaining future high-quality staff.

THE VERDICT: WHERE TO FROM HERE?

It’s clear that apprenticeships and traineeships can offer a range of benefits to employers. They contribute to a well-trained, motivated workforce that can drive innovation and community engagement.
Amanda says “These are highly valuable qualifications that provide training not just to meet the needs of your business now, but to equip your staff with the skills and knowledge to help take your business into the future.”

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