Government campaigns to attract young people to training is one thing, the challenge is to help them complete
New research from the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research points to the importance of Group Training Organisations in helping apprentices and trainees.
GTOs employ apprentices/trainees and place them with employers, generally small and medium enterprises. But GTOs do more than manage the admin, they provide pastoral care and support that SMEs often don’t.
To assess the impact of such support Lisel O’Dwyer and Patrick Korbel compared completion rates at SMEs who employ via GTOs and those who manage for themselves. They found completion rates for apprentices and trainees employed by GTOs are “substantially higher” than those with SMEs. In the case of non-trade apprentices and trainees GTO completions are higher than for SMEs and large employers who manage their own people. However, GTOs had trade completion rates, “well below” large direct employers.
The NCVER authors report the main advantages of GTO employment/placement include security and correct rates of pay, support from field officers/mentors and experience with different employers and skills. Direct employers not familiar with GTOs suggest apprentices/trainees receive better train and are pushed harder when working in the workplace where they were hired.