The Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) program aims to increase apprentice retention rates, particularly in the first two years of training. This should improve completion rates and the supply of skilled workers into the future. HIA is part of this government program, and provides mentorship to apprentices in the construction industry.
The importance of apprentices for the future of Australia’s construction industry cannot be overstated. The industry needs to attract, develop and retain apprentices to ensure a stable future.
There are many challenges facing apprentices within the industry. Statistics show that over 50 per cent of apprentices drop out of their trade training in their first two years. This has a significant impact on our trade numbers.
The Australian government noted this alarming statistic and funded ISMAA as a national mentoring program covering all trades where apprentice and trainee training occurs.
HIA was recognised as a construction industry specialist and has been funded to mentor Australian apprentices nationally.
HIA has employed 12 mentors and placed them at strategic locations on TAFE campuses in each of the states and territories. The issues that HIA apprentice mentors face are many and varied.
Leaving school and finding work can be a daunting time for young apprentices and decision-making processes can be clouded by poor judgement. Difficulties can then be compounded by the varying conditions encountered in workplaces.
The HIA mentors assist, support and guide apprentices through the first two years of their training. The mentors sit down with the apprentices one-on-one to help them resolve problems and issues they may face, either on the job or in their personal lives.