Concrete advice to improve apprentice completions

Improving the productivity, retention and completion rates of 1st and 2nd year construction apprentices is the aim of a new $60 million Commonwealth Government program. 

The Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) program sends ‘Construction Mentors’, with real trade experience, onsite to offer one-on-one support - at no cost to the employer or apprentice. 

The program will be implemented by Sarina Russo Apprenticeship to target first and second year apprentices in the civil, residential and commercial construction. 

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Steve Wyborn, General Manager, Sarina Russo Apprenticeships said he loved how the program concentrates on practical measures to create a more highly skilled and productive Queensland construction workforce which ultimately benefits both apprentices and employers. 

Benefits for Apprentices

  • Build the foundation for a construction career;
  • Receive one-on-one mentoring from a real tradie;
  • Get technical skills support, tips for on-the-job learning, career and personal advice; and
  • Complete your apprenticeship.

Benefits for Employers

  • Boost apprentice productivity;
  • Increase retention and completion rates;
  • Build a skilled workforce;
  • Mentoring conducted on-site; and
  • Absolutely no cost. 

"The program is important because research shows the biggest drop-out rate for apprentices is in the first two years of training. Of apprentices not completing their training, 60% occur within the first year while 80% occur within the first two years (Understanding the non-completion of apprentices - www.ncver.edu.au). 

“The biggest reasons apprentices drop-out is due to the apprentice’s workplace experience particularly during their on-the-job and off-the-job training. 

“Our highly skilled Construction Mentors are industry experts who will act as positive role models assisting apprentices develop the trade, technical and personal skills need to succeed. 

Their job is to build rapport with both apprentices and employers, share their on-the-job and off-the-job training knowledge, offer advice on available financial and government support and help apprentices plan a career path in construction once they’ve finished on the tools. 

“Most importantly our Construction Mentors know what’s needed to get the job done,” Mr Wyborn said.

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