Apprentices get texted for success

Department of Customer Service

First year apprentices will now receive greater support from the NSW Government with the state-wide roll-out of a text for success program designed to help them stay in training.

The free Employee Support text service will involve six text messages being sent to align with key events in an apprentice’s journey, with a successful trial of the program reducing dropout rates by 16 per cent.

The service, designed by Training Services NSW and the NSW Behavioural Insights Unit, provides apprentices with information and support to boost training outcomes and maintain motivation.

The NSW Government recognises how tough it can be for young people to deal with training and navigate the workplace, particularly for those who have just left a more structured environment like school.

Results from the trial showed apprentices and trainees are more likely to persist with their qualifications when they received the direct digital outreach with the statewide roll out potentially seeing an additional 1850 apprentices and trainees stay in their course each year.

The trial also saw an increase in apprentices seeking support with an additional 552 phone calls and 512 text messages to support services and almost 6,000 clicks to NSW Government online resources.

The new program will help young adults get jobs after training and also ensures employers benefit by retaining apprentices and avoiding the cost of replacing and retraining them.

When an apprentice drops out the training and investment that has gone into that employee is lost and the whole process has to start again.

The text message service will save businesses a combined $1.1 million in avoided costs related to recruitment, induction, administration, lost time in productivity and other costs from non-completion.

This is especially important for post-COVID-19 recovery, as more qualified apprentices and trainees are needed for industries with major skills shortages.

The Employer Support program will see first year learners across NSW receive six behaviourally informed SMS prompts, across a six-month period.

The advice includes information on workplace rights, how to seek support and finalise training plans, which helped reduce the dropout rate for first year apprentices.

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