What do you get if you offer all of your staff a traineeship? Fulfilment, collaboration, and loyalty are just a few of the benefits. There’s funding available to support both you and your trainees and there are hundreds of traineeship opportunities available.
Brewing for business success
Kommunity Brew is a specialist brewer in Canning Vale. The business produces a range of fermented and low alcoholic drinks and they’ve recently started a traineeship program to upskill their entire workforce. Of their nine staff, six are currently completing Certificates II, III and IV in Business. Another two are about to begin.
We spoke to Kommunity’s co-founder and CEO Mason Bagios to hear about what the traineeship program has brought their business.
1. An easy fit
Our business has always invested in staff training, despite there being no formal apprenticeship in brewing. When a networking group I’m part of started talking about business traineeships, I thought it sounded like a great idea.
We’ve always wanted to formalise study pathways for our team. Everyone that we hire has an entrepreneurial spirit, or a desire to build their career. What we do is a unique craft, and we train everyone on our 240-page food safety plan. Most people we hire are part-time and have the capacity to study.
We got in touch with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). They explained that business administration traineeships would work well alongside what we’re already doing. They fit with the way that we structure our roster and our staff, so we had nothing to lose. All we had to do was commit to a timeframe.
This easy fit meant that we could fold the traineeships into our existing roles, and recruit in a new way. We started positioning our job ads as junior roles that involve formal education and we’ve received an overwhelming response.
2. A bigger and better pool of applications
Our staff tenure goal is 3 to 5 years so it’s important we hire the right people from the start.
It’s unlikely applicants will have the technical skills we need so we recruit on passion, values and work ethic over any previous experience of brewing. We widen the net of quality applicants by lowering the barrier to entry and being clear there’s plenty of room to grow.
We get a diverse group of applicants from all walks of life, from people ready to start their career, to those wanting a change or to retrain. They’re all eager to learn and progress in a supportive environment.
By being clear and confident in our approach, we get an immense pool of quality people who apply for these roles. It can take up to three months to hire because we usually get 60 to 70 great candidates. But it’s absolutely worth the investment.
3. Greater workforce capability
There are certain things that we must train our staff in as a part of their job. The technicalities of niche brewing aren’t necessarily formalised, but what our staff learn in their business traineeships is more concrete and transferrable. Learning on the job through a traineeship teaches them communication, negotiation, and procurement, as well as more general skills in business and operations.
The means we’re able to develop them professionally, so our business benefits and they do too. We’re nurturing their business and soft skills to take them through to the next stage of their career, even when they move on.
Increasing our capability also means we can plan for the future and are well-equipped to tackle expansion and succession planning.
4. The great equaliser
Offering our staff traineeships means we put our money where our mouth is when and invest in our staff. Adding this formal education element has brought staff fulfilment, motivation, and loyalty.
Our staff are motivated knowing we’re not only investing in our business’s future but investing in theirs too. And we’re respected for it. Their productivity is boosted by their what they’re learning. And when they achieve through their study, their motivation increases. So, there’s this positive flow-on.
Grouping two or three staff to go through the qualification together fosters a huge sense of collaboration and teamwork. We call it cohort culture. These teams study together, relate to each other, and grow their knowledge and experience together, which is of huge value to the entire team. The side benefit is that they become more professionally competent.
Traineeships have been the great equaliser. They’ve built a new level of interconnectedness between staff. Our business structure feels flatter. While everyone works in different areas of the business or has different responsibilities, they’re on the same level with their study.
Since starting the traineeships, we’ve seen a boost in staff confidence and creativity, too. The practical side of brewing is very technical with lots of risks and time pressures. But studying with pen and paper and learning theoretical content is less pressured. And it makes people feel like it’s okay just to be a student, to think more creatively and not be worried about making a mistake.
5. Support to apply and do the paperwork
The beauty of a traineeship program is that there isn’t a huge time or resource investment for business owners. The RTO looks after the training side of things, while The Apprenticeship Community looks after the sign-up process, funding and ongoing support.
As an employer, there was some reading to do, but no hurdles.
Having the right mindset as an employer is important in running a traineeship program. The Apprenticeship Community helped us understand exactly what to expect.
They explained entire process and answered any questions we had as business owners. They made sure everyone signing up felt comfortable and understood the program. They even came out and met with each employee to explain the ins and outs of a traineeship.
They made the admin side of things very simple, too. They looked after our paperwork and explained the funding and incentives available.
6. Funding and wage subsidies
As a business owner, managing our bottom line is super important. Being able to access funding for our trainees has been a great incentive. We’ve been able to receive funding or wage subsidies for all our trainees. There are different levels of funding depending on your staff and the qualifications they’re doing.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach and each individual has to be assessed. The Apprenticeship Community helped us navigate and secure the funding and wage subsidies.
Help your business thrive through apprenticeships and traineeships!
The Apprenticeship Community will help you secure available funding and find the best local talent for your business. Find out what funding you may be eligible for and more by visiting https://funding.apprenticeshipcommunity.com.au/.