Apprenticeships could play an important role in improving the mental health of young workers.
Research from University of Sydney found that quality apprenticeships can provide valuable social support for those moving from school to the world of work.
“Social structures of support are a vital third element in any mental health care and prevention regime,” explained the study.
Apprenticeship completion rates have fallen to 50 per cent in Australia, especially when the quality of training and mentoring is compromised.
Study leader Professor John Buchanan believes firms could improve completion rates to around 90 per cent if they focus on improving the support given.
“The right support can prevent a lot of problems from happening. Or if you can’t prevent them, you have early warning systems that allow intervention before things spiral out of control,” he said.
“Among mental health experts is it widely recognised that the next big breakthrough for mental health isn’t going to come from drugs and one-on-one counselling, it is going to come from better social structures and support.”