A business owner’s guide to employing a student

By Ella Persse As a business owner, you always look for ways to improve your products and services and attract new customers. One often overlooked…

By Ella Persse

As a business owner, you always look for ways to improve your products and services and attract new customers. One often overlooked resource that can benefit your business is the student jeweller. By employing a student jeweller, you can access various benefits to help your business grow and succeed. Employing a student jeweller is one of the most cost-effective and beneficial forms of labour. As students are generally still learning and developing their skills, there are government subsidies in place to help these students get hired and boost the industry. As they are still learning and developing their skills, student jewellers may have unique ideas and approaches to jewellery making that you may have yet to consider. They can also bring the latest industry knowledge and trends to your business, helping you stay up-to-date and relevant as the industry progresses.
In addition to the immediate benefits of hiring a student jeweller, you also create the potential to build a pipeline of future talent for your business. By training and mentoring students, you can help them develop their skills and build a career in the jewellery industry. This can bene t your business in
the long run by providing you with a skilled workforce and reducing the need to recruit new staff constantly. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so being presented with fresh, eager minds gives business owners the opportunity to mould the students to their standards and therefore, carry on their legacy.

However, a potential complication of hiring a student jeweller is the time and patience that goes into the training. They will have a different experience level than a more seasoned jeweller as they are still learning and developing their skills. This can lead to mistakes or a slower pace of work, which could impact the quality and timeliness of your products and services. They may require additional training and supervision to ensure that the student jeweller can perform to the best of their abilities. This can take time and resources away from your business, as you must invest in the student’s education and provide ongoing guidance and support.

To become a trade qualified jeweller, you must undertake an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship combines on the job training and classroom education, commonly resulting in a Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture. Apprenticeships and traineeships are formal on the job training arrangements between an employer and an employee that can lead to a nationally recognised qualification. Anyone old enough to work can become an apprentice or trainee.

It is still classified as an employment arrangement if you take on an apprentice or trainee. Your apprentice or trainee is paid and has the same employment conditions as your other workers. The conditions of employment for apprentices and trainees are the same as for other employees in the same occupation, including overtime, holidays, personal leave, and superannuation. In some cases, you are also expected to provide apprentices and trainees with opportunities to learn skills and acquire knowledge of their trade or traineeship, access to structured training, paid time off work to attend training when necessary, and a safe working environment. You may need additional insurance to protect your business if they are your first hire. All requirements are stated in the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) Code of Conduct.

Before taking on an apprentice or trainee, decide what skills you need, what the job will involve, and how you will employ this person, whether it’s full-time or part-time. You can recruit someone you know, advertise the position, contact local employment agencies, talk to your local AASN provider, or contact your local group training provider. Leigh Willson, chief executive officer of MinRes Training Institute counts the many ways a business can hire a student. Advertising on social media or other forms of media and networking with local high schools and associations are just a few of her suggestions. Leigh gives further insight into the student hiring process for business owners. “One doesn’t hire a student, they hire an employee whom they wish to train to obtain certain skills and/or a trade,” she says. “The best way to train one’s staff is to invest time, energy and resources into transferring skills to ensure the industry is not plunged into a skills shortage like there is at the moment.” Leigh further explains the support businesses can receive, “Funding availability should be identified at the time of sign-up with the AASN. Employment incentives are available for eligible employees [and] training incentives may be available at selected institutions.”

Employing a student jeweller can be a wise investment for your business. By bringing fresh perspectives and ideas, cost-effective labour, and future talent to your team, you can improve your products and services and stay competitive in the jewellery industry. So, to grow your business and take it to the next level, consider hiring a student jeweller and see the benefits for yourself.

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