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Training apprentices in-house brings financial benefits, survey says

Trades businesses take note, training your own apprentices pays off almost immediately, according to a new provincial report.

The province recently published a report which shows for every dollar trades businesses spend on training apprentices, they get $1.42 back in value, on average.

And despite the myth that apprentices are a cost sink in their first year of training, the report shows  benefits come within one year for most trades, particularly industrial and construction.

The report is based on a survey done last year of 533 employers across the province. It found most employers who train their own apprentices see financial benefits quickly and retain them long-term.

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One standout stat is that although two-thirds of employers are concerned about their apprentices being poached by competitors, it rarely happens. In fact, less than 7% reported losing an apprentice in year one. More than half stay for one to five years, and 42% stay for five or more years.

Some trades were more lucrative than others, with autobody repair apprentices providing a return on investment of $1.91 for every dollar spent on training. Plumbers were at the low end but still in the black at $1.02, still a net benefit to the employer of more than $8,000 during a four-year apprenticeship.

The main costs identified for training apprentices were their wages and benefits, and time spent training by a journeyperson.

Employers in the report say the main reason why they don’t hire apprentices is because there simply aren’t enough available.

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