iyarn– An Industy-Based Approach to Supporting Apprentices

iyarn– An Industy-Based Approach to Supporting Apprentices

The current problem facing apprenticeship programs 

The current shortage of tradies in Australia is posing an increasingly significant problem. Roughly a third of all occupations nationwide are in shortage, and with a growing lack of skilled tradespeople in the workforce, concerns such as the housing shortage continue to escalate. In a recent interview, Liam O’Brien, assistant secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), explains why there is a shortage and what solutions are needed in order to fix it.

Reasons for a shortage

Why is there an escalating shortage of tradies and apprentices? O’Brien explains, 

“It’s actually not always about the number that start [an apprenticeship], it’s about the number that finish. What we’ve got is a problem when it comes to completion. In some cases 50% of those that are starting their apprenticeship are not completing it. That’s got to be the key area to target for solutions.” 

The solutions O’Brien proposed in order to increase completion rates all focused on one key aspect of apprenticeships: support. O’Brien says that we must focus on the support apprentices are receiving during their apprenticeships and improve the workplace experience they have during their program. 

“When it comes to apprentices, the support that’s provided… is not being targeted the way that it should. We know that workers need proper workplace and industry-based support during their training.”

O’Brien explained that some apprentices currently receive minimal support, often limited to a single text message throughout their program and expressed that this support must be better if we hope to see more apprentices completing their program and staying in the workforce. 

Better support with iyarn

iyarn, an innovative platform, transforms the support process for apprentices by enabling employer organisations to offer high-quality industry-based support, promptly address concerns, monitor progress, and leverage data to measure outcomes and evaluate programs. iyarn has revolutionised employer organisations’ approach to supporting apprentices, fostering stronger connections between apprentices and industry employers and facilitating program completion to address the workforce shortage.

Tracking progress over time– On the iyarn app, apprentices complete simple, quick, and consistent check ins. iyarn check in data gives employer organisations, case workers, career coaches, and field officers a deeper understanding of how apprentices are travelling. 

iyarn provides insights into an apprentice’s journey over time.

Identifying risks and addressing concerns– ‘The Red Flag Notifications’ feature on iyarn helps apprenticeship programs better identify apprentices who are at risk and help them address their concerns by immediately notifying employers when their apprentices need extra support or require intervention. Crisis Support resources are also available in-app as needed. 

Support resources– iyarn provides industry-based, in-app support resources tailored to meet the needs of each apprentice based on their check in scores. Support resources cover areas of focus chosen by employers that apprentices need in order to succeed in their field. 

In-app Communication– iyarn is an easy way for case managers to communicate with their apprentices. Using in-app communication features apprentices can message when they need support.

A more rewarding experience 

Apprentices who use iyarn not only feel a greater sense of support from and connection to their employers, they experience greater satisfaction during their apprenticeship. The iyarn experience gives apprentices consistent visuals of their growth. It helps them capture their progress and successes– big and small. Career coaches who have used iyarn have expressed that its impact on apprentices’ success and confidence is apparent, and they find it exhilarating to witness the gradual increase in apprentices’ scores over time.


Skill Hire, a national training and employment provider, has been using iyarn with their apprentices for the past two years and have seen significant benefits. 

Business Managers from Skill Hire from several sites in WA talk about their team’s experiences using iyarn:

“iyarn allows our team to see each participant as an individual and understand their individual circumstances. It gives participants a safe way to express their concerns and that’s been a big game-changer.” 

“It’s been a big eye opener for the career coaches when the apprentices are saying they’re fine, but the scores are saying something different.”

“iyarn has helped us identify issues before they become extreme issues or crisis situations and be able to address them.”

Contact us

Are you interested in how iyarn can help you support apprentices in your training programs?

Reach out for a free demo hello@iyarn.com.au

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