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The Decline in the Uptake of Apprentices from Business

Could hiring an apprentice be the right choice for your business?

In recent years there has been a steady decline in apprenticeship numbers, both in the uptake and completion of training. With lower numbers of students seeking out apprenticeships, businesses are also taking on fewer apprentices.  This is a worrying trend, and is contributing to a skills deficit in crucial sectors of the work force.  

High growth has been predicted for both traditional trades and other vocational areas, such as aged care and hospitality, meaning the need for people to fill these positions will likely supersede the amount of skilled workers we are producing, causing some businesses to warn of further skills shortages. 

Why the decline?

Various reasons have been contributing to the decline in the uptake of apprentices by business, including: economic downturn (it’s commonly believed that during hard times apprentices are the last to be hired, but the first to be let go); the quality of apprenticeship candidates, which has been affected by increased university participation due to the uncapping of university placements; and, a lack of both pre-apprenticeship career advice and little promotion of vocational career pathways, which sees more and more of these capable students being lured into university and away from taking up an apprenticeship. Further hindering businesses is the reduction of incentive based payments for employers hiring trainees and apprentices. 

Why employ a trainee/apprentice?

  • Create loyal, motivated staff and reduce staff turn-over by mentoring your apprentices 
  • Apprentices learn directly from you, allowing you to train staff exactly as you want and ensure their methods suit your business 
  • Build the skills capacity of your business and/or free up other employees to work on what they’re best at 
  • Involving apprentices in refining procedures and systems can increase efficiency 
  • Offering apprenticeships may attract desirable candidates who are able to fulfil your current or future skill requirements 
  • Train staff and supervisors relatively quickly 
  • Apprentices are most often young, enthusiastic, and keen to learn new skills 
  • Young apprentices will be familiar and confident with current technology, which can come in handy for your business – who knows, they might even teach you something! 

With all these positives, why wouldn’t you hire an apprentice?  

What we can do for you

Here at Smart Employment Solutions, we help you with the whole process, by recruiting suitable candidates, paying their wages, coordinating apprentice training, as well as undertaking performance monitoring. We take care of all the paperwork for you. 

Contact Smart Employment Solutions today, to discuss what an apprentice could do for your business! 


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