ACA NSW outlines benefits of ECEC trainees as sector battles workforce shortages
The New South Wales branch of the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) has prepared information for its members, and other interested parties in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector about the advantages of taking on trainees, and the current financial support available to approved providers.
The top reason the peak body gave for taking on trainees is the opportunity to train new candidates in the ways of your unique work environment, without having complications from previous workplace experiences.
“Not only will they get valuable hands on experience while they learn – your trainees will also get a real sense of the support and teamwork that a positive work culture creates. Your trainees can proudly be known as ‘home grown’ in your own service,” ACA NSW said.
Secondly, trainees can provide consistent staffing in the service, working across a number of different age groups while gaining valuable skills and experience and covering staff absences and annual leave.
The ACA NSW also pointed out that a number of Australian jobs have been directly impacted by COVID-19, with a large cohort of people looking to change career paths.
The ING Future Focus report, released May 2020, indicated that 3.3 million Australians are rethinking their career paths. This includes 1.38 million Millennials and 1.31 million Generation Xers. In this context, the opportunity to train up new candidates and build on the professional skill sets in your existing team, ACA NSW said, is therefore greater than ever before.
Another advantage of implementing a traineeship program is a clear progression pathway for those who are interested in ‘moving up the ranks’.
Having a broader career path from Cert III to Diploma, from early childhood educator to Early Childhood Teacher and Nominated Supervisor, can ensure that incoming trainees feel confident they are investing in a solid, reliable and professional career path in the early learning sector.
Finally, ACA NSW said, employing a trainee, or trainees, can allow services to take advantage of the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage-subsidy program, implemented to assist with the recovery from the impact of COVID-19, the Australian Government is providing support to all employers who take on trainees and apprentices to build a pipeline of skilled workers to support sustained economic recovery.
Any business that engages an Australian Apprentice on or after 5 October 2020 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid to an apprentice between 5 October 2020 and 30 September 2021, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter. The wage subsidy initiative will be paid for a full 12 month period.
Educators studying for their Certificate III and/or Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care will be eligible under the scheme, according to the BAC fact sheet found here.
The subsidy is not available for trainees/apprentices receiving any other form of Australian Government wage subsidy e.g. Supporting Apprentices and Trainees, JobKeeper Payment or JobMaker Hiring Credit.
ACA NSW encouraged services to take on two trainees at a time because it means they can both support each other in their educational journey.
A handful of case studies which illustrate the benefits that service providers and their trainees have experienced, in the traineeship process can be accessed here.
For more information about taking on one or more trainees and how to apply for the BAC wage subsidy, contact one of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Providers that services your state.
Alternatively, ACA NSW advised, get in touch with your local, trusted registered training organisation (RTO) if you already have a relationship.