Apprentice Retention Report

The Industry-Education Council of Hamilton has released a Report, Apprentice Retention in the Skilled Trades, prepared by an MBA Consulting Team from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

Apprentice retention is an issue in the skilled trades. Demographics show that many journey-people will be heading for retirement in the next decade, making the need for trained replacements all the more urgent. Training apprentices, and then losing them, can be costly. Like all employees, apprentices have needs and addressing those needs before the apprentice heads to the door is essential if an employer wants to ensure a return on their investment. Many of the key factors identified in the study would be just as valid for any employee and effective strategies to address them could lead to an overall improved workplace environment.

Background to the Report

  • 350 apprentices were interviewed; 37.6% in the industrial trades, 17.9% in motive power, 44.5% in construction trades
  • 85% expressed satisfaction with their chosen skill trade career choice - so retention was not related to overall career satisfaction as much as it was related to satisfaction with a specific place of employment
  • 30% of apprentices had already switched employers at least once
  • 97.9% were male
  • 50% were under the age of 25
  • 25% belonged to a trade union
  • 44.3% worked for small employers with 10-50 employees
  • 28.3% worked for an employer with less than 10 employees

10 Key Retention Factors
- Click on this link where these factors are listed in rank order to hear what apprentices had to say in each category and what strategies you/your company may want to use to address them:

Information originally supplied by the website (No longer funded) please reference: Apprentice Retention in the Skilled Trades Study

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