A South West company was recently awarded funding to provide more support to apprentices and trainees.
The Apprentice and Traineeship Company was one of 24 organisations selected nationally to deliver the Australian Government’s new Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) program.
The company will deliver free support to those studying in the building and construction and health care sectors as those industries undergo major structural changes.
ISMAA mentor Kim Humphreys said the idea of the program was to lift retention rates of first and second year apprentices and trainees.
“When things tend to go wrong in apprenticeships it’s usually in the probation period or in the first or second year,” she said.
“The idea is we can get to some of the issues early on and hopefully put some strategies in place to keep them employed.
“It gives them that independent person that can advocate on their behalf, step in and talk to their trainer if they are having difficulties there and break down some of those communication walls that youth seem to have.”
The Apprentice and Traineeship Company state business development manager Steph Adlam said the funding meant the company could employ Ms Humphreys full time.
“Kim’s role is going to be working with and identifying young people in need,” she said.
“Anybody in that cohort can say I would like a mentor and it’s a free service where Kim will mentor them.
“We’re the only local provider, we’ve been here for 30 years in the South West region so we’ve got a fairly good understanding of the barriers that youth come up against.”
Ms Humphreys said she was looking forward to working with apprentices and trainees in Bunbury and Busselton.
“These industries are going through major structural change – that’s scary so it’s trying to break down some of those walls and fear factors and providing that support in those early days,” she said.
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