$ 200m plan to keep Gen Y ap­pren­tices at work

Ethics test for job hope­fuls

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - BRUCE McDOUGALL

FU­TURE Gen Y job­seek­ers will sit a for­mal test to gauge their work ethic, skills and job readi­ness be­fore they are ap­proved for an ap­pren­tice­ship.

The per­for­mance test will weed out un­suit­able ap­pli­cants and help ar­rest the shock­ing ap­pren­tice­ship dropout rate of 50 per cent in vi­tal trades.

It will as­sess the at­ti­tude of young work­ers in key work­place dis­ci­plines, in­clud­ing punc­tu­al­ity, how they dress, com­mu­ni­cate and han­dle con­flict.

Job seek­ers’ team­work and or­gan­i­sa­tional skills also will be tested along with how they present, in­clud­ing their be­hav­iour on so­cial me­dia.

De­spite earn­ing up to $ 71,000 in some trades, more than half of ap­pren­tices fail to stay the course ev­ery year, at huge cost to em­ploy­ers and tax­pay­ers.

The new test, de­vised by ex­perts in or­gan­i­sa­tional psy­chol­ogy and re­cruit­ment for the Fed­eral Govern­ment- funded Ap­pren­tice­ship Sup­port Aus­tralia group, cov­ers more than 300,000 ap­pren­tices.

It will not be manda­tory but job ap­pli­cants who have failed to com­plete it are un­likely to be awarded an ap­pren­tice­ship.

The test is be­ing hailed by in­dus­try lead­ers as a po­ten­tial “game- changer”.

It fol­lows rev­e­la­tions that des­per­ate bosses are en­rolling their Gen Y work­ers in train­ing cour­ses to im­prove their skills and stop them from quit­ting.

From text mes­sage “sick­ies” to poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, Gen Y’s ap­proach to em­ploy­ment has been a con­stant frus­tra­tion for many em­ploy­ers.

Ap­pren­tice­ship Sup­port Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Dar­ren Cocks said: “The job- fit test is part of a front- end ap­proach to ap­pren­tice­ship re­cruit­ment that fo­cuses on as­sess­ing the ap­ti­tude and suit­abil­ity of po­ten­tial ap­pren­tices be­fore they com­mit to an ap­pren­tice­ship con­tract.”

The Fed­eral Govern­ment is in­vest­ing $ 200 mil­lion a year in pro­grams to im­prove screen­ing of job seek­ers.

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