Brighthouse Builds on Apprenticeship Mentoring Program Initiative

Brighthouse Consultants Dr Chris Holland and Michelle Sidebottom are acknowledged professionals in workplace training development. Identifying the potential of the Australian Government's Apprenticeship Mentoring Program, Chris and Michelle  are developing templates for industry to improve participation and retention with apprenticeships.

The following atricles describe the Australian Apprenticeship Mentoring Program,  a practical application in the printing industry and the experience of the province of Nova Scotia in initating a similar program.

For more information email Chris at or Michelle at

Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Program

The Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Programm (Mentoring Program) was announced in the 2011-12 Budget as part of the $101 million Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring package. The package forms part of the Australian Government’s initial response to the recommendations of the Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel.

The Apprenticeships Mentoring Program seeks to improve Australian apprenticeship retention rates through the provision of approximately $80 million over four years to support targeted mentoring and assistance to Australian Apprentices. The program is targeted at industries and occupations with current or emerging skills need and Australian apprentices who may face barriers to participation (e.g. Indigenous Apprentices or Apprentices in remote locations). It is anticipated that mentoring projects will target support to the first year of training when Australian apprentices are most at risk of withdrawing.”

“Apprentice Mentoring launched in the Australian Printing Industry

Hot on the tails of the Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Programme, the printing industry is launching a new program which matches apprentices to employers and provides immediate access for the apprentices to mentoring.

The programme will run off a new website recently launched as part of the program. The job matching service, which is scheduled to launch in two weeks’ time, aims to encourage employers to post suitable jobs in the hope of enticing motivated potential apprentices. The website provides ready access to information on how to access the apprentice support provided around the country by mentors. It also features a 'live chat' service for more immediate engagement.

The job matching service will bring together potential employers and apprentices. Employers are being encouraged to take advantage of the free apprentice mentoring service.”

Apprenticeship Mentoring in Nova Scotia

In the province of Nova Scotia, Workplace Mentoring is now required for all apprenticeship programs - employers must apply strategies to assist with learning and teaching skills in the workplace. To support this new initiative for apprentices, the Province of Nova Scotia - Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division, provides materials and activities for mentors and learners to use. The Departments states: “Workplace mentoring relates to everyone - teaching and learning skills in the workplace is a shared responsibility. is focusing attention on mentoring to assist with teaching and learning skills at work”.

The Construction Sector Council (CSC) asserts that journeypersons who instruct and supervise apprentices on the job “are not hard-wired to do that kind of job,” and more structure is needed so that the industry gets the kind of workforce it needs.

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