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The value of mentoring in supporting high-quality apprenticeships
Good quality mentoring is an important part of taking on an apprentice in the workplace irrespective of the sector. Having a dedicated mentor who works closely with the apprentice can hugely effect employee retention and talent management. Helping people develop and grow through the support of more experienced colleagues is increasingly being recognised for its value in passing on vital skills and knowledge.
Specifically, in the context of apprenticeships, mentoring is focused on the sharing of best practice by passing on technical expertise and knowledge, to further career development.
Here are some of our top tips in mentoring your apprentice for success:
Communicate: Make sure that you communicate the results you want to see, set parameters, determine what support the apprentice needs, and set times to conduct progress reviews along the way.
Give performance feedback: State what you observe, be specific and direct, show sincerity, and communicate face-to-face for both positive and negative performance efforts.
Motivate your apprentices’ performance: Give timely recognition for a job well done and provide favourable assignments that challenge your apprentice and at the same time meet business needs.
Mentor you apprentices’ growth: Pass on words of wisdom that guide behaviour for success and ask for ideas to make improvements and solve problems.
Focus your apprentices’ performance: Work with your apprentice and trainer to collaboratively set goals with action plans that define the key steps for achieving these goals.
Set meaningful goals: Define the results that need to be achieved and how the goals will be measured.
Assess your apprentices’’ performance: Don’t wait for formal reviews. Meet one-on-one with your apprentice to review performance; adjust plans accordingly to keep priorities current.
Aid career development: Collaboratively set plans that define how employees will prepare themselves — from training to work assignments — to grow in their skills and capabilities.
Reinforce good performance: Catch employees doing quality work and demonstrating positive behaviours with the same effort that you catch them when performance doesn’t go as well as needed.
The benefits can be wide spread, creating a skilled workforce, suitable for the demands of the business. Thinking of taking on an apprentice? Have a look at our FAQ’s for employers here