Restaurant & Catering Australia was last week announced as one of 24 successful tenderers in the Commonwealth Government’s $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) program.
Originally announced as part of the 2017-18 Commonwealth Budget, the ISMAA program will provide apprentices and trainees with access to specialised, one-to-one mentoring and support during the first two years of their courses.
R&CA CEO Juliana Payne said that the Commonwealth Government’s investment in the ISMAA program would help to address high non-completion rates among apprentices and trainees in hospitality sector courses, which traditionally peak during the first year of training.
“The current drop-out rate amongst apprentices and trainees which, depending on the specific course involved, can be as high as 60 per cent which is totally unacceptable,” Payne said.
“By focusing on providing apprentices and trainees with intensive mentoring and support during the initial stages of their courses, we are maximising the likelihood of them going on to complete their courses successfully.”
Payne also emphasised the importance of the link between improved retention and completion rates amongst apprentices and trainees and the pursuit of a long-term career path within the hospitality sector.
“The ISMAA program is about putting in place the necessary support networks and social infrastructure to give apprentices the best possible chance at succeeding in their chosen course or vocation and setting them up for a successful career,” she said.
“One of R&CA’s major goals in its participation in the ISMAA program is to ensure that apprentices and trainees gain the necessary skills and experience they need through training to eventually pursue a fulfilling, long-term career within the hospitality sector.
“The current rates of non-completions amongst apprentices and trainees helps fuel negative perceptions of hospitality sector work as being short-term or transitory in nature. By ensuring the highest number of completions as possible, we are actively promoting careers within the hospitality sector as an attractive option for potential VET students.”
R&CA has now commenced the recruitment process for its industry mentors and will be announcing further details of these appointments shortly.