Apprenticeship drop outs are costing local businesses.
Apprenticeship drop outs are costing local businesses. Dave Noonan

How apprentices leaving their trade harms local businesses

APPRENTICESHIP dropouts in regional Queensland are not only hurting our youth - they are impacting local businesses.

As part of the Fair Go For Our Kids campaign, this paper revealed, almost 2000 regional apprentices left their trade in the past 18 months. We called on Labor and the LNP to take action to reduce dropouts.

New research from youth training group Skillsroad and Apprenticeship Support Australia shows an employee leaving can cost a business up to four times that person's salary.

ASA managing director Darren Cocks said losing an employee could set a business back significantly.

"The fact that young people are ranking pay as the most important consideration when applying for a job shows that young people are likely to prioritise money over career paths that they're genuinely passionate about, increasing the chances of them ending up in a career they don't enjoy and impacting their confidence and resilience," he said.

"Given when an employee resigns it can cost as much as 400 per cent of their salary, the cost of churn is a heavy burden for many companies."

The Skillsroad 2017 Youth Census surveyed 13,273 Australians aged 15-24 and found young people rated pay as most important in job hunting. Although qualified tradies can earn high salaries, apprentices earn significantly less.

Mr Cocks said incentives to encourage people to get into training programs, including the LNP's Apprenticeship Boost and Labor's Youth Boost programs, were proven to help people into work.

Only 15.8 per cent of school students surveyed planned to do an apprenticeship or traineeship, despite better employment outcomes in those areas than for university students.

"As a community, we need to be mindful we are not pushing any one career pathway - whether it's because of a lack of resources or a misguided belief that one tertiary system is better than the other," Mr Cocks said. "We need to encourage young people to find out what truly interests them and plays to their strengths."

TAFE Queensland Skills-Tech acting general manager John Tucker said university was not always always the best option.

"There is, as a society in general, an idea that university is the prize outcome and vocational studies are somehow secondary to that," he said.

"I definitely do not subscribe to that belief. Vocational studies are a great career option and it should not be considered lesser than university."

Mr Tucker said TAFE Queensland worked closely with schools to talk to students from Year 9 to encourage them to consider vocational studies.

"That's why we engage students at the Year 9 level - to challenge the belief that uni is the prize outcome," he said.

Mr Cocks said high living costs were driving apprentices into jobs that paid better in the short term but did not offer a career.

He said young people should be able to choose a career to suit them and not be railroaded into study they were not interested in.

"We need to supply parents with information and tools socareer conversations are positive, un-biased and comprehensive," he said. - NewsRegional

*Let us know if you have any ideas on how we can keep apprentices on the job.

News Corp Australia

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