Thinking of adding an apprentice to your team? Skip through this quick read to get the top tips on how to get them settled in and train your new Apprentice.
It is important to take a little time to think about how you will induct a trainee into the norms of your establishment. What will they do on an hourly, daily, weekly basis? What do they need to know to be a successful contributing member of your team? Even the brightest apprentices will need your hand for a week or two, your guidance and supervision will be important in ensuring a smooth and hitch-free transition.
As a workplace supervisor, tasked with imparting wisdom and expertise to a new apprentice, consider practicing the following:
Start with a warm welcome
Your trainee will probably suffer from the normal first-day nerves, seeing the buzzing workplace and everyone already settled in and familiar with each other. Create a welcoming environment for the newbie, make a point of introducing them to the rest of the team members. This way, the trainee will settle in smoothly and start grasping the dos and don’ts quickly.
Strive to create a Friendly Relationship or a ‘Buddying Scheme.’
A trainee often is someone fresh from high school or university but they may also be someone retraining at a later stage in their life. Different people are likely to have different needs so take the time to ask them a few questions and try to match them up with someone who will make a good work buddy for them.
Be a Motivator, Communication is key.
Supervision isn’t all about being stern when issuing instructions and direction to the trainee. You can be positive and upbeat or stern and serious but ensure that you are always respectful and give positive feedback where it is deserved. Regardless of the subject or level of the learner, try to communicate clearly and use words that can easily be understood. Ideally, try to explain one idea at a time rather than bombarding their brain. Something that may come second nature to you is totally new to them. It is as if they are learning a new language, at first it will be difficult and possibly overwhelming but soon with good training they will be fluent in the workplace tasks.
Clear as mud?
Even if your apprentice has some experience in the job, it is important to cover everything regarding the training. Don’t skip over or assume that something is obvious because the learner said so. Fundamentally, iron out every topic, touching on each aspect of the best practices in the workplace. A good trick especially when teaching more complicated parts is getting the person to repeat it back to you, this way you can quickly gauge if they have truly understood the task. Written paperwork, worksheets or posters with best practises, expectations and in particular safety rules are also a worthwhile addition.
Be open with questions, feedback and criticism
The only way to understand if the apprentice is learning is through the feedback you get and the results you see. Furthermore, some students prefer to ask questions on something they didn’t understand whilst others will go away and research on their own. Find out which ways they learn best, ask them and take notice it will save time and energy for both of you. Package criticism amongst positive comments to keep their morale up. For example “Good work, I like the way you have finished that detail however next time a better way to do it is like this…..” this is known as constructive criticism and it is what researchers have found that people respond best to when learning.
Finally, Track your Progress
As you supervise your apprentice, be sure to monitor their knowledge and skills. Track their growth path and how they improve. You can do this using simple tests and exams or by asking them to complete certain tasks. Let them know how far they have come of give them a pat on the back when they reach a milestone. You have helped them get there, give yourself a pat on the back too!
To find out about our apprentice programmes or hire an apprentice contact Apprenticeships QLD today www.apprenticeshipsqld.com.au