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Retention and intentions to quit among Australian male apprentices

Kathryn Gow (School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Chantelle Warren (School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
David Anthony (School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Connie Hinschen (School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 25 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

In response to both the increasing concern of the declining rates of apprentices and the limited research in this area, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the individual processes involved in apprentices' decisions to remain in their apprenticeship.

Design/methodology/approach

Specifically, five individual domains were investigated: motivation style (intrinsic and extrinsic motivation); coping style (emotion‐focused and problem‐focused); apprentice experiences (satisfaction, work conditions, expectations, formal training and recognition); financial responsibility; and demographic factors (age, geographic location, education/training and organisational tenure). Three measures were used to assess these five domains: the work preference inventory, the brief cope and the apprentice experience questionnaire. A total of 326 male participants were recruited from Victoria and Queensland.

Findings

Logistic regression was performed to determine if motivation style, coping style, apprentice experiences and demographic factors could predict thoughts towards remaining in an apprenticeship. A Chi‐square test was conducted to determine if financial responsibility had an impact on thoughts towards remaining in a trade. Overall results suggested that intrinsic motivation, satisfaction, working conditions and geographic location could predict apprentices' thoughts towards staying in an apprenticeship.

Research limitations/implications

The results can only be generalised to those who were currently undertaking an apprenticeship and not those who had already left. Furthermore, the outcome variable in this study was “thoughts towards quitting” and not actual quitting per se; however, social desirability effects may have influenced the responses somewhat.

Originality/value

By utilising this data, educators and employers alike could now be one step closer to retaining the much‐needed apprentices of Australia and it may be that other countries such as Germany, India, France, Turkey, the USA, and the UK may pool informational research resources to counter the global downturn in apprentices' availability.

Keywords

Citation

Gow, K., Warren, C., Anthony, D. and Hinschen, C. (2008), "Retention and intentions to quit among Australian male apprentices", Education + Training, Vol. 50 No. 3, pp. 216-230. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400910810873991

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited