New approach to apprentices

Councillor Natalie Willcocks with trainees Josh Clarke (left) and Ryan McCorkindale.
Councillor Natalie Willcocks with trainee Ryan McCorkindale

Published: 10th December 2021

Logan City Council will run a pilot to determine the viability of directly hiring apprentices and trainees into its workforce.

Trainees and apprentices are currently hired through third-party group training organisations through a ‘host’ arrangement.

Trade unions have requested a greater commitment to the roles during ongoing negotiations for the organisation’s next Certified Agreement.

Governance Chair Councillor Natalie Willcocks said Council would compare the two models to see what worked best.

“We want to see the data to determine if we stay with a host model, convert to a direct hire model, or perhaps introduce a hybrid arrangement,” Cr Willcocks said.

The direct hire pilot will involve three apprentices and two trainees in different positions.

“This will give us a good idea of both the opportunities and challenges, including any ‘hidden’ costs and resources that we don’t currently incur,” she said.

During the trial, four-year apprenticeships will be offered in heavy commercial vehicle mechanical technology, plumbing and mechanical fitting, while a one-year business trainee and an 18-month library trainee will also be hired.

Recruitment will begin in early 2022 and the successful candidates will be employed for the duration of their certification period, however Council anticipates it can determine the trial’s results within six months.

Cr Willcocks said Council’s trainees and apprentices were highly regarded for their work ethic and skills learnt on the job.

“They gain nationally-recognised qualifications while also getting experience in a workplace, which sets them up for great opportunities down the track, including longer-term roles here at Council,” she said.

Council employs 1750 people across a range of full-time, part-time and casual roles.

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