Posted on 28/08/17 in
For Mathew Littleton and the team at Monto Veterinary Surgery “Employment is their biggest hurdle,” a common cry heard amongst businesses in a State suffering at the hands of a national skills shortage.
However, Littleton and his team have found support, skill and growth in their fulltime trainee Vet Nurse, Stacy Smith. They are encouraging local businesses, regardless of industry, to do likewise.
“We feel very lucky, privileged in fact, to have Stacey on our team. We are country-rural and there is a big shortage of skilled workers in our area. It’s common for us—when we do find someone—to find they don’t have the right skills and nothing eventuates. Having a trainee on though; we are really able to see the benefits of on-the-job training accompanied by study” says Littleton.
Margie Bradbury, Queensland Manager for Apprenticeship Support Australia (ASA), who administer Stacy’s traineeship says “It’s a common misconception that vocational education is only for traditional trades. Apprenticeships and traineeships are beneficial no matter what industry you are in; it could be veterinary, health care, community services, retail and hospitality, engineering or automotive. They allow you to train staff to the specialist requirements of your business under a recognised qualification framework.”
For Littleton “It allowed the practice to take the plunge and put someone on; being fairly certain it was going to work. As a small business you always have to wonder: is there going to be enough work? Are they going to pay their way? The whole process has been really good for us,” says Littleton.
“The Queensland Government is committed to supporting and increasing the development of skills across that State. It depends on the eligibility criteria—but—there are financial incentives and benefits for standard employment, as well as, school and mature aged, Indigenous Australians, and those living with a disability,” says Bradbury.
For Littleton the opportunity has been exciting and enjoyable, “The staff at ASA are really supportive, right from the initial phone call and workplace visits, to helping us with the paperwork, being ready and willing to answer any of our questions.”
“We would recommend it to anyone—we have two school aged kennel hands on at the moment and we are hoping to make one a trainee soon,” says Littleton.
ASA has one of the most successful completion rates on the market, with many vocational education and training accreditations significantly higher than the national average completion rate of 58.3%.
Apprenticeships and traineeships are a way to build local talent pools and reduce the skills shortage.
Apprenticeship Support Australia offers holistic advice and support to both business and apprentices for more details call 1300 363 831.