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What apprentices really want from their training company...

Entering the professional world is an extraordinarily important event. The first time dealing with one' s professional career, the jitters shortly before the first job interview, right up to starting the first position in a training company, are like an emotional rollercoaster. Great Place to Work® Switzerland wants to be part of this extraordinary, important and formative period in the lives of many young people. We want to know what motivates apprentices, what inspires them and what matters to them. More than that! We aim to help training companies in Switzerland to identify and understand the needs and wishes of their apprentices and implement them in a way that benefits everyone in the long term.

The Great Place to Work® Switzerland apprentices survey

For this purpose, we examined numerous training companies throughout Switzerland and asked the coming generation of workers, professionals, team leaders, project managers, CEOs and visionaries themselves.

"What do you want from your training company?"

This question is not only addressed by Great Place to Work® Switzerland, but by many organisations that are also intensively focusing on the target group " apprentices" and want to attract young talents themselves.

Is it really the awaited payday, the free gym subscription, the flexible working hours or are there other factors that are essential for apprentices’ satisfaction? With the Great Start! apprentice survey, we want to get to the root of these and further questions.

We took a closer look at our Great Start! certified training companies from last year and were able to identify factors that are particularly important to apprentices and have a significant influence on their satisfaction with their own training company:

 

EN Great Start Factors 3

 

The true drivers of apprentice satisfaction

Our research shows that team spirit and a sense of pride are the main factors that determine apprentice satisfaction. Evidence-based scientific research like this allows us to show employers and training companies that apprentices' job satisfaction is not primarily dependent on obvious benefits such as salary (as long as the remuneration is fair), fringe benefits or maximum flexibility. Instead, "soft" factors such as fairness, support for personal and professional development and a sense of purpose play an overriding role. Apprentices want to feel welcome and be treated as an integral part of the organisation, receive regular feedback and, most importantly, contribute to the organisation and society in a meaningful way.

While these factors may have received too little attention in the past, their influence on apprentice satisfaction is undeniable. They are not only indicators for apprentice satisfaction, but also essential in determining whether they enjoy their employment, are motivated and committed, and whether they consider staying with the company in the long term.

Valuable insights through regular survey cycles

The frequency and actuality of our surveys also enable us to identify potential changes in the needs of the apprentices. This also applies to the COVID 19 pandemic, which makes it even more difficult for young workers to enter the professional world. In addition to pride and team spirit, the dominant factors for satisfaction especially in the current situation are involvement in decisions and regular updates of important information. During the pandemic, trust is more important than ever: apprentices need to trust that they will be involved, that their perspectives will be taken into account and that important information will be shared with them. At the same time, organisations and training companies need to trust that apprentices will work independently and handle internal information appropriately 

These findings highlight the necessity and relevance of regular survey cycles. A survey every few years is not enough to capture situational needs and thus meet the current zeitgeist.

By conducting regular surveys, organisations gain valuable insights into the needs of their apprentices and can develop best practices on that basis. This can strengthen and further develop the relationship between apprentices and the training company in the long term.

Do you also want to find out whether your apprentices are satisfied and feel they are making a valuable contribution? Whether they are proud of your company and consider it to be a Great Start! in their career?



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