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Apprenticeship in Canada - Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

Why Hire Apprentices

Apprenticeship is a valuable HR strategy that employers like you are using to enhance their business performance

Effective Requirement

Skills shortages and the retirement of experienced tradespeople are creating an urgent need to transfer knowledge from one generation to the next, developing the skills and competencies companies need. Apprenticeship is an important recruiting strategy – providing an opportunity to grow the future workforce, sustain the supply of highly skilled workers and pass along know-how critical to the business. Apprenticeship is a proven method of developing future workers, managers and mentors.

Develop Future Leaders

Apprentices become the core workforce and are positioned to be future leaders and managers at their company.

Reduce Turnover

Turnover is a real concern for employers, who worry their investment in the skills of their employees might be lost to competitors. Rather than a return on their investment, these employers fear the additional burden of recruiting and training replacements.

Employers who hire apprentices argue a commitment to employee learning and career progression helps them become an “employer of choice,” facilitating recruitment and retention at their companies. Investing in apprentices can ensure you have loyal employees who are committed to the organization. Another benefit of hiring apprentices, particularly young people, is an enhanced reputation in the community, driving increased business.

Employees Trained To Your Needs

Employers want highly skilled workers with the right attitude and a commitment to the company’s success. Who better than a journeyperson trained right in the company? In fact, employers cite “a better fit with the organization” as the most significant benefit of employing a journeyperson they trained as an apprentice. By developing an employee from the ground up, companies create workers with trade skills, as well as company-specific knowledge about the systems, culture, customers and processes that make the business tick.

More Productive Workforce

As apprentices progress in their programs, they make an increasing contribution to their workplaces, with the benefits outpacing investment in most trades by the end of the second year. Journeypersons trained as apprentices often go on to become the company’s most productive team members. More than 60% of employers consider a journeyperson they trained as an apprentice more productive than an external hire, estimating the homegrown journeyperson is 29% more productive.

Workforce Prepared for Technological Change

The use of increasingly sophisticated equipment makes learning new skills, training on digital technology and ability to solve problems imperative. Not only are they open to learning, but young apprentices are often more comfortable with and aware of new technology. This makes apprentices a tremendous asset to journeypersons on your team.

Competition for skilled trades work is increasingly global in nature. Canadian employers need to work together to build and maintain a highly skilled workforce that is prepared for technological change.

Attract New Opportunities

Increasingly, governments are considering apprenticeship in their procurement policies, requiring some level of involvement in apprenticeship training from their contractors. In much the same way as an apprenticeship program can enhance your reputation in the community, it may attract additional business or offer new opportunities to your company.

Financial Benefits Outweigh Costs

Employers who hire apprentices report financial benefits. For every dollar invested, employers receive an average return of a $1.47 within the scope of the apprenticeship. The net benefit ranges, depending on the trade, from $39,524 for cooks to $245,264 for heavy duty equipment mechanics.

Employers identify wages, journeyperson time training, wastage (time and materials in the event of a mistake), registration fees/tuition and administration fees as the primary costs. When taken against their workplace contributions and charge-out rates, the fact that apprentices earn a lower wage results in financial benefits for the employer, often by the end of the second year. As an apprentice’s wages go up, so too does their productivity and the revenue they generate.


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