Australia’s network of group training organisations (GTOs) are achieving “substantially higher” completion rates of apprentices and trainees than direct employers in small and medium sized businesses, according to a landmark study released today.
The National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) welcomed the research findings from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, which show the group training sector achieving superior outcomes for thousands of apprentices and trainees.
“The study shows the focussed efforts of group training organisations in matching apprentices and trainees with host businesses and providing ongoing mentoring and support does produce superior outcomes,” said, the CEO of the National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN), Ms Dianne Dayhew.
The study, Completion rates for group training organisations and direct employers: how do they compare? examines the completion rates of apprentices and trainees employed by GTOs and those employed by direct employers. It concludes that “After accounting for the different demographic profiles of GTO apprentices and trainees and employer size, the study shows that GTO completion rates for all apprentices and trainees are substantially higher than for small and medium direct employers.”For trade apprentices and trainees, GTO completions are higher than for small and medium employers, while for non-trade apprentices and trainees, GTO completions are higher than for small and medium, and large direct employers.Importantly, the study finds that the profile of GTO apprentices and trainees includes a higher proportion of disadvantaged or ‘high risk’ cohorts commencing apprenticeships and traineeships.
Compared with other employers, apprentices and trainees with group training organisations are younger, more likely to be in the trades, more likely to be new rather than existing workers, and more likely to be Indigenous, NCVER finds. Ms Dayhew said the group training sector has long understood the lasting benefits of its approach to apprentice employment, but it was encouraging to see that validated in the latest research.
“For some 40 years, group training organisations have been devoted to giving apprentices and trainees the best start to their careers through their industry knowledge and relationships with employers, schools, and communities.“The care and support that is provided to apprentices and trainees is a distinguishing feature that can make a real difference between successfully completing and dropping out,” Ms Dayhew said.
Under the group training approach, the GTO is the legal employer of the apprentice or trainee and is responsible for recruitment, matching to a host businesses, meeting all employer obligations, including paying wages and entitlements, arranging formal training and assessment, and providing pastoral care and support.
Apprentices and trainees can be rotated or transferred to different host businesses if for instance, work dries up, or wider experience is needed. GTOs currently employ about 25,000 apprentices and trainees across Australia and have placed more than a million into work since their inception. They predominantly work with small and medium sized businesses, many of which would not be in a position to properly undertake apprentice employment were it not for group training.
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