When asked what they needed to get more youth and disadvantaged jobseekers into apprenticeships, most business leaders said that apprenticeships needed better promotion and that there were stigmas stopping parents and youth from considering these options.
Apart from promoting apprenticeship and traineeship programs, businesses said other things were needed, including:
- Schools need better career advice - and career conversations with youth need to begin earlier. (Industry needs to participate more with career advice and work experience programs.)
- Small businesses need support with recruitment, mentoring and a flexible employment model (something group training can provide)
- First year apprentices would benefit from greater mentoring including from fourth year apprentices. The first six to 12 months is critical.
- Regional areas need more employers
- Schools, parents and youth need to understand the wide range (there are over 500) of career pathways available. Special campaigns are needed for schools, parents, youth, highlighting the expansion into new/growth areas - IT, Health as well as traditional trades that require new skills
- When supporting disadvantaged jobseekers into apprenticeships, support is also needed for issues like transport, mentoring personal issues and housing.
Gary Workman, Global Apprenticeship Network Australia (GAN) Australia’s Executive Director said, “The message is clear, we need more information for schools, parents and our youth so that they can make more informed decisions. There are a wide range of careers available and most people don’t understand that apprenticeships are available in new, growth areas such as IT and healthcare. Australia has a high youth unemployment rate and yet we are experieincing skills shortages. We need to find better ways to fill these voids.”
Apprenticeship programmes are one way of meeting employers’ needs and lowering youth unemployment.
- They ensure that trainings matches the needswithin a company or industry
- The programmes keep employers and employees up-to-date with changesin technology, work practices, and market dynamics
- They link classrooms and workplace training so that young people acquire relevant skills
- They equip young people with critically important core skills, such as problem solving, teamwork, and communication
- They offer young people an income and real work experience while training
- They help young people clear the hurdle of having no work experience, a barrier that prevents many other graduates from securing their first job.