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Trade apprentice business start-up rescue

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article image Sue Kent, General Manager of MEGT Australia
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A new Commonwealth Government Apprentice to Business Owner (AtoB) program will provide free small business mentoring and training to trade apprentices to ensure their start-up businesses do not go bust in the first year.
Sue Kent, General Manager of MEGT Australia and a national broker for the AtoB Program explains that trade apprentices spend up to four years developing trade-specific competencies under the guidance of a more skilled tradesperson, often without gaining any bookkeeping and management skills needed as a subcontractor or in a small business.
While most trade apprentices dream of being their own boss, the reality is often more complex with regulations, payroll, taxation, financial plans, marketing and workflow arrangements coming into play.
Having a mentor, especially one who has been in a similar trade and run a successful small business can help point them in the right direction. AtoB Program mentors are ex-tradies from the Group Training system, and have mentored hundreds of apprentices over the past 30 years.
Sue adds that the offer of free business management training and free mentor assistance, especially when they are starting out will make a significant difference to eligible candidates.
As a national broker for the AtoB Program, Sue assesses the eligibility of an apprentice for the assistance and helps organise the training and the mentoring.
Both the training and mentoring are completed over a 12-month period.
To be eligible to receive AtoB Program services, individual tradespeople must:

  • Have permanent residency
  • Have successfully completed a nationally recognised qualification in a trade listed on the National Skills Needs List
  • Be preparing to or have recently (within 24 months) established a business
  • Not be an Undischarged Bankrupt
  • Not have previously completed the Eligible Qualifications offered under the AtoB Program
  • Not be subsidised from other government funding, including Commonwealth, States and Territories, for the same services offered under the AtoB Program
Government programs also providing new business support include the Australian Government’s Small Business Advisory Services, Enterprise Connect and state/territory government sponsored programs.
This feature is presented by Ferret - www.ferret.com.au.

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