Apprentice Communication and Retention Project

Scroll down to see how to use this video

In this video, the supervisor sees the new apprentice standing around and doing nothing. He swiftly realises that the apprentice does not understand the unwritten rules of the workshop – like cleaning up when there is nothing to do.
Unwritten ground rules (UGR) are powerful factors in determining the effectiveness of communication within the workplace.
UGRs exist in across all industries. Together these attitudes, beliefs and assumptions about the way things are become the unconscious framework through which an industry (which includes supervisors, trainers and apprentices) communicates. These UGRs may seem obvious to someone with decades of experience, but new apprentices may need educating.

Using this video

In a busy workshop, the pressure is on to complete the work for the customer. The apprentice may not understand things which are obvious to technicians who have been working at the business for a while.
You can use this video to demonstrate how easy it is to misunderstand exactly what is going on. In a tool box meeting, or during a break raise awareness of this issue:

  • Has the supervisor had any similar experiences?
  • Does the apprentice know what to do when they run out of work?
  • Who do they go to for advice?
  • What are some ways they prevent misunderstanding

Ideas and feedback

  • “Ensure the apprentice has a clear understanding of what is required and what to do once the job has been completed.”
  • “I will ask more experienced staff for ideas of how to be more efficient.”
  • “If all the work is done we can all clean up.”