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The How, What and Why of taking on an apprentice

Many producers are unaware of how simple and rewarding employing an apprentice can be. With a current shortage in placements for apprentices in agriculture, the AgForce School to Industry Partnership Program outlines for our members the process of taking on an apprentice.

abDSC02092Taking on an apprentice can be very rewarding for host employers, and employers can profit from the following benefits:
• Employ staff who are suited to your business and dedicated to a career in rural industries;
• Reduced employee turnover with subsequent increases in productivity;
• Improved staff quality through provision of training opportunities and career pathways;
• By providing experienced employees to the workforce, you contribute to the future viability of your industry;
• Personal achievement in providing training to an apprentice and shaping them into a trained and valued employee;
• Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) offer apprenticeship management services and some also offer you payroll services, relieving time spent on administration duties. They also offer probation periods, usually 30 days, so that both parties can determine the suitability of the apprenticeship for the apprentice.

There are two types of apprenticeships: full-time and school-based

Full-time apprenticeships are conducted over 1-3 years depending on the entry level of the apprentice, which is determined by their previous experience or Recognised Prior Learning (RPL). Full-time apprentices work and sometimes live on your property full time.

aDSC01657School based apprenticeships are conducted when students are in Years 10-12. Students are required to complete one week of unpaid formal training each school term, and 10 weeks paid, on-the-job training per year.

Apprentices will complete a Certificate II or III in Agriculture. A Cert. II is an entry level course and graduate attributes have 'some knowledge and skills to participate in rural occupations'. A Cert. III builds upon the foundations of a Cert. II, and provides graduates with more backgrounding and some up-skilling; better preparing them for jobs which require more experience than an entry-level position in the workforce.

Now that you have some backgrounding in apprenticeships, let's look at the four easy steps you need to take to employ your own apprentice.

aIMG 0336Step 1: Decide what you want for your business from an apprentice
What jobs would be suitable to be performed by your apprentice, and determine if you want a school-based or full-time apprentice.

Step 2: Choose an RTO or prepare yourself to directly employ the apprentice
Rural Industry Training and Extension www.rite.com.au are an industry-specific RTO who provide an excellent service to host employers.

If you decide to directly employ the apprentice (without using an RTO), you will need to provide the full range of work and facilities required to train your apprentice and will also need to be a certified trainer and assessor.

Step 3: Hire your apprentice
You may hire your apprentice directly through an advertisement or contact, or alternatively an RTO may send you a list of potential candidate apprentices who will be suitable for your business.

Step 4: Get started
Once you have completed your Training Plan, you are ready to employ your trainee and enjoy the rewarding experience of providing training to the next generation of producers.

For information on Work Experience CLICK HERE