October 10



By Sarah Fitzgibbon

October 10, 2016

apprenticeships, hospitality training, on-the-job training, training

Ever wondered exactly how an on-the-job apprenticeship actually works? Read on to find all the answers to your questions…

Are you sick of sending your staff member off to trade school?

Would you be interested in an alternative where they could be at work, doing their usual duties?

Well there is. It’s called on-the-job training.

AVTES has been doing on-the-job apprenticeship in cookery for nearly 20 years now. And I’m still surprised at how many people don’t know about it.

As an employer, business owner, and ex-chef, I believe it’s a great model. But here’s what our clients think…

“AVTES delivers more personalized one on one training with all our apprentices as well as offering flexibility to accommodate study around their working week.” Stephanie Stenta, Manager, Georges Restaurant

“The workplace training model has been great for us because it means our staff can work and learn at the same time. It has been an efficient way to train new workers into highly skilled staff.” Jayaweera Bandara, Manager, Fishtales Cafe

1. What does on-the-job mean when talking about an on-the-job apprenticeship?

On-the-job training refers to the way training is delivered. We come to your workplace and deliver and assess the training there – on-the-job.

2. How does the training work?

Qualified trainers meet with your employee regularly. Typically a meeting consists of two parts;

  • The trainer assesses course work that the student has completed and observes the student perform practical skills if required.
  • Then they introduce the new unit of study, discussing relevant theory and demonstrating relevant practical skills. The trainer will also set assessment requirements.
A typical workplace visit for an on-the-job apprenticeship.
A typical workplace visit for an on-the-job apprenticeship.

 3. What do I have to do?

Training works best when it is supported by owners and managers. You will need to;

  • Appoint a supervisor to meet at least monthly with the trainer at workplace visits.
  • Provide the apprentice with time to attend visits with the trainer and complete training.
  • As the boss you will sign a contract with an Apprenticeship Network Provider as employer of the apprentice.

4. How often do you come to the workplace and how long are visits?

Trainers typically visit the apprentice once a month for 1-2 hours. They will also meet with the student’s supervisor at that time, usually a Head Chef.

5. Does my employee have to take time off to do training?

In the traditional trade school model, apprentices attend the institution to do their training. This can be a day a week, or week long blocks.

In an on-the-job apprenticeship, we bring the classroom to you so your employees don’t have to leave work. They will need to be available to meet with the trainer for approximately 1-2 hours per month.

>>So you can see that this will save you money in having to cover their shifts.

6. When do you come and do the training?

We arrange a convenient time in advance with you and your employee. AVTES trainers will work around your schedule to ensure that training does not interrupt service delivery at your workplace.

7. I have something specific I want them to learn, can you do that?

Of course! On-the-job training means one-on-one attention. Not just for the student but for you as the employer too. You are able to talk directly to the person training your staff as you’ll see them regularly. When relevant they can incorporate these lessons into the training program.

>>Your employee learns the skills you want, that are relevant to your business, and learns to do things the way you like them done.

8. Will I be getting up to date training?

Our trainers are in workplaces all the time. Workplaces like yours and lots of other kinds. This means they know what’s going on in the industry because they are in it every single day. And they bring that knowledge to your workplace.

 9. Don’t trade schools have better facilities for apprenticeships?

We believe that an on-the-job apprenticeship is better for preparing industry ready employees.

  • Your apprentice is learning in a real workplace rather than a simulated environment.
  • Apprentices share teachers as well as resources in a trade school environment. When training on-the-job they get one-to-one attention. Apprentices often feel more confident to participate and ask questions in this situation.

 10. What about skills that we don’t do in our workplace?

All students follow the same curriculum, so the employee will learn everything that is required to become qualified. We find that in most cases the student completes all the necessary competencies of their training program in their everyday job. If a student doesn’t cover a specific skill in their everyday work we will conduct demonstrations or workshops at your workplace to cover all required skills.

11. How will I know what my employee is doing, and where they are up to in their training?

You will be given a training plan so you will know what units your employee is studying at any time. Our trainers will also communicate regularly with you on the progress of your employee. You will receive an update every 6 months letting you know how your employee is progressing through their program.

12. Does on-the-job training cost the same as going to trade school?

No! There is approximately $25,000 in hidden labour costs to the employer over 3 years for sending an apprentice to trade school.

13. Does on-the-job training suit everyone?

If you don’t want to be involved in the training of your staff then on-the-job training probably isn’t for you.

More questions?

Want to learn more about apprenticeships? Check out our page on apprenticeships and traineeships here.

Want to know exactly what’s covered in a cookery apprenticeship? Check out our Certificate III in Commercial Cookery course outline here.

Have a staff member you want to enrol in an on-the-job apprenticeship? Drop us a line here and we’ll be in touch shortly to arrange a meeting.

I hope this has answered all the questions you had about on-the-job apprenticeship and on-the-job training in general. If you have any other questions give me a call on 1300 764 418 or email chris@avtes.com.au.

Sarah Fitzgibbon

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