After one of their apprentices gave up after 4 years with only 2 on jobs and his final exam left to go, the team at Aotea Electric Bay of Plenty recognised that something had to change. As one of Tauranga’s largest electrical apprentice employers, the team committed to never letting that happen again and in April 2019 developed a unique, effective Apprenticeship Support Programme to support apprentices on their journey.
How does the programme work?
Aotea Electric Bay of Plenty hold informal 4 monthly meetings with their full team of Apprentices (currently 11), their Managers, Assessors, and Education Facilitator Skills NZ.
Prior to each meeting the Apprentices complete a Target Setting Form detailing their short term (4 months) and long term (1 year) goals, identify and commit to specific “On Job” goals and exam dates for the next period, then discuss these with their assessor / manager to assess practicality and ensure they have the support they need to reach their goals. Skills NZ assist with providing up to date, detailed reporting on each Apprentices progress.
What does a typical meeting look like?
The meeting starts with each apprentice presenting their individual progress to the group based on the commitments made at the last meeting, what was actually achieved and their goals for the next period. The meetings run for an hour where they discuss anything relative to their progress and updates on industry initiatives and then wind down with a cold beverage and enjoy the time to catchup as a group.
Since the Apprenticeship Support Programme started there has been a noticeable improvement. Every one of the Aotea Electric Bay of Plenty Apprentices are either on pace and in most cases well ahead with their "on jobs" and exams. Apprentices feel more supported and have the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and a healthy competitiveness and accountability to the group. Aotea Electric Bay of Plenty have initiated inter departmental transfers for apprentices to be able to experience a good mix of both residential and commercial work and are looking to extend this into their Communications and Security areas as well.
In acknowledgement of the Apprenticeship Support Programme Skills NZ exclaimed:
“ Being one of the largest trainers of Electrical Apprentices, Aotea Bay of Plenty is now most certainly leading the way and setting the example for the industry and our region”.
And because every story should have a happy ending...The Apprentice that dropped out last year (the inspiration behind the program), came into the BOP office last week to get some help sending his Registration docs off to EWRB and has now completed everything necessary to become a qualified tradesman! Congratulations for seeing it through, and we look forward to seeing many more Apprentices succeed with the help of the Apprenticeship Support Programme.