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Having additional hands on board can help keep your café running smoothly while minimising staff stress. However, employing extra staff often does not make good financial sense, no matter how busy you are.

Which is why hiring an apprentice is a smart option. You get staff who have been trained by you at a rate that won't break the bank. In some instances, you may also be able to get government assistance to hire an apprentice. But this depends on which state you’re in and what policies are in place at the time.

How does an apprenticeship work?

An apprenticeship or traineeship is a great way for people to earn and learn. Apprenticeships give candidates the opportunity to work while they receive the key skills they need while employed with you. It’s the perfect way for them to build knowledge and skills and for you to increase business efficiency and productivity.

What to look for in an apprentice

Because apprentices are often young and lack the experience of working in a café, you need to make sure they have the qualities you look for in your staff:

The ability to work in a team

This is particularly important as your apprentice will need to interact with everyone who works with you while they learn the ropes.

Handling high-pressure situations

Apprentices can sometimes be very young and inexperienced, so placing them in stressful situations may be a risk. You can take care of this through encouragement and good training, though. This will give them the confidence to stay calm when things get hot.

Good work ethic

Much of what an apprentice will learn in your café will be skills-based – but instilling a good work ethic is just as important. Selecting people with a good attitude for work will make a difference in how quickly they learn and how well they integrate with your team.

Willingness to learn

And finally, people who are willing to learn can be taught almost anything. A willing apprentice will pick up the skills and traits needed to become a valuable member of your staff much faster than someone who is reluctant to toe up to the line.

Your role

Taking on an apprentice requires more than just selecting a suitable candidate. There are contracts and obligations you must fulfil. Here’s where you can learn more about setting up an apprenticeship.  

A good apprentice can help you grow your business by freeing you up to focus on higher value tasks. What’s more, many apprentices tend to stay on longer – either due to the duration of their training or their loyalty to the organisation that supported and encouraged them to earn their qualifications.

Here are a few leading resources for hiring an apprentice:

Find out more about CAFÉ 360