What is the Apprentice Connect Program (ACP)?
The ACP is an online management platform, developed by MRAEL, to efficiently manage relationships with apprentices, trainees and Partner Organisations. The ACP enables apprentices, trainees and Partner Organisations to interact with MRAEL through technology.
How does the ACP work?
The ACP has its own dedicated Apprentice Support Centre (ASC), staffed by apprenticeship and traineeship experts. ASC staff maintain regular contact with participants of the ACP to ensure adequate training progression is achieved. ASC staff conduct training record book checks, performance appraisals and provide assistance and mentoring to Partner Organisations, apprentices and trainees.
What are the benefits of the ACP?
The program uses innovative technology to enable MRAEL to provide a quality apprentice management experience to Partner Organisations, apprentices and trainees in any location. Benefits include:
- Direct access to MRAEL’s apprentice management experts through the Apprentice Support Centre
- An MRAEL email account for apprentices and trainees
- A secure login for 24/7 access to our ‘Apprentice Portal’ for info relating to employment, training and payroll
- The option for Partner Organisations to approve and submit timesheets electronically
- Access to cloud storage and online training records
- Improved apprentice management opportunities for Partner Organisations in rural and remote locations
The ACP provides Partner Organisations with the security of traditional group training services and the ability to give apprentices and trainees a significantly improved overall experience throughout their apprenticeship or traineeship.
The virtual approach of the ACP not only provides efficiencies and benefits from a service delivery perspective, but also enables representation across a wider geographical footprint. This promotes additional apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities in rural and remote areas where they may not have otherwise existed through traditional apprentice management techniques. MRAEL believes such opportunities contribute to the growth of a sustainable skilled workforce for the future.
How much does the ACP cost?
The innovative technologies that the ACP employs means MRAEL can offer the program to Partner Organisations with no management fee. This enables Partner Organisations to access and use MRAEL’s best practice apprentice management expertise and techniques with no added investment to the statutory costs of employing an apprentice or trainee.
The ACP is the ideal program to assist employers in offsetting the additional expenses that may be incurred as a result of the minimum wage increase for apprentices and trainees that came into effect on January 1, 2014. MRAEL understands that decisions such as that made by the Fair Work Commission to increase minimum award wages for apprentices and trainees often highlights the pressures that employers face in finding a sustainable balance between developing a skilled workforce and operating a cost efficient business. The ACP is designed to assist employers to continue to build their workforce with no added financial pressure.
Is the ACP available everywhere?
Yes. The virtual nature of the ACP means it can be accessed from any geographical location. One of its major benefits is that it provides Partner Organisations located in rural or remote geographical locations with increased accessibility to traditional group training services with a greater focus on achieving increased operating efficiencies and a cost effective approach. The ACP enables MRAEL to offer Partner Organisations in regional and remote areas the same high quality service delivery as those in metropolitan areas.
Which industries and trades can use the ACP?
Partner Organisations, apprentices and trainees across all industries and trades can access the ACP.
Can my existing MRAEL apprentices/trainees access the ACP?
The ACP is available to apprentices and trainees who commenced on or after January 1, 2014. Partner Organisations with apprentices and trainees currently participating in MRAEL’s Apprentice Employment Program (AEP) or Apprentice Management Program (AMP) are unfortunately not able to convert those apprentices or trainees to the ACP. However, Partner Organisations are free to commence new apprentices and trainees into the program.
What happens if our business decides the ACP is not suitable for us?
MRAEL understands that operating requirements can change. If a Partner Organisation decides the ACP is no longer suited to their business requirements, MRAEL offers a range of traditional group training services that may be more suited. If a Partner Organisation withdraws from the ACP within six months of the commencement of the apprentice or trainee, and does not transition to one of MRAEL’s alternative apprentice management services, a $1,500.00 fee will be payable to MRAEL on withdrawal from the program.
How can I get more info on the ACP?
Learn more about the ACP and how it could work for your business by contacting the MRAEL Support Centre on 1300 4 MRAEL (1300 467 235).