It’s a common misconception that apprenticeship programs are a high-risk strategy for workforce development. In fact, in our best practice interviews with companies like Butech Bliss, Luk, Hamill Manufacturing, and Oberg Industries—all of which have had successful apprenticeship programs over a number of years or even decades—HR and operations managers have noted that their apprentices are among the most loyal employees.
Your Apprenticeship Program will not be successful without retaining your top performers. Once your top performers have been identified, you will want to make sure they successfully complete the program and transition into full time roles. Though the decision to stay or leave a program/company is a personal one, there are several areas you can focus on to engage and retain participants, especially top performers. This includes:
- Provide competitive compensation
- Foster a positive and respectful work environment
- Create a sense of employment stability during the program
- Explain that if successful, they will be well suited for a full-time position when available (do not guarantee employment)
- Ensure that the apprentice feels the work is meaningful; effectively engage them
- Provide appropriate recognition
A strong retention strategy can turn your best apprentices into your best long-term employees.