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Report provides tips for retaining apprentices


March 2, 2016
By Ground Water Canada

Ottawa – The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum in February shared findings of a dialogue about supply and demand it conducted in fall 2015. The report included strategies for retaining apprentices.

In fall 2015, CAF-FCA hosted four discussion forums in Ottawa, Halifax, Calgary and Vancouver. Participants discussed apprenticeship-related supply and demand challenges.

“Apprenticeship Supply and Demand Challenges” shares best practices employers can use to retain employees, including the following tips:

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·      Help apprentices navigate the process, the paperwork and the financial challenges

·      Meet and communicate regularly with the apprentices.

·      Ensure each apprentice has a training plan.

·      Explain the business realities and the plans for sending apprentices to technical training so there is no confusion and the commitment to apprentice development is articulated.

·      Set up an internal website to promote communication and team-building.

·      Create loyalty incentives for the apprentices.

·      Offer incentives such as free tools if the apprentice stays two to three years.

·      Formalize the mentoring program. Put first-year apprentices with the best mentors and teachers and give the mentor a bonus to reward good mentoring in the workplace.

·      Provide opportunities for professional career development.

·      When there are down times, share the apprentices with other employers so the apprentices remain employed and continue to earn hours towards completion.

·      When there are work opportunities in different regions, ask employees if they are willing to move. Distributing the workforce may avoid lay-offs.

·      Offer help with exam preparation to improve the pass rates on the certification test.

·      Set targets such as passing the exam within a year so apprentices will be motivated to write the exam, and top up the apprentice completion grant to reward program progression.

·      Celebrate completion as a milestone.

For more retainment best practices, read the full report.