Victorian builders bring apprentice program to VU

About 200 carpentry apprentices from Victoria University's Newport Campus will begin an "ALink" program next Thursday developed by The Master Builders Association of Victoria in a bid to tackle apprenticeship drop-out rates.

Association Executive Director Brian Welch said Master Builders' research had revealed why more than 50 per cent of Victorian trade apprentices do not complete their training.

"Dubbed the apprentices new best friend", ALink includes a two-hour information session that aims to bridge the gap between apprentices and the industry by providing information and tools that they need to stay focused and successful," Mr Welch said.

Since April, the organisation has taken the ALink road show of advice, information, guest speakers and give-aways to TAFEs throughout Victoria, reaching up to 2,000 apprentices, face-to-face. The program is based on research that found there were two main reasons for the high attrition rates: a lack of relevant, clear and centralised information for apprentices, and communication break-down between the apprentices - who are mainly Generation Y - and their Baby Boomer bosses and mentors.

As part of the program, students receive a free 12-month membership entitling them to wage and career advice, and discounts on tools, cars and fuel, as well as opportunities for mentoring.

Peter Jacobson, Head of VU's Construction Industries said VU welcomed the opportunity for their students to be involved in the program.

"An initiative like ALink supports apprentices to complete their training and helps them think about the next stage of their career when they will possibly start their own business."

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