The key to retaining good staff is to make sure that you advance and encourage their professional development and training. If your employees can see advancement in their employment with you, they are likely to have high job satisfaction and increased productivity and quality

You can outsource training or develop your staff internally. You should make an individual plan for each staff member in consultation with them.

Make a plan

As an employer, remember that professional development is to benefit your staff. It is different from business training.

When you start to make a professional development plan with your employee, take some time to understand the skills that your employee wants to learn, or the knowledge they want to gain

After you have identified the skills your employee wants to learn, you both should consider how to develop that skill. This can include:

  • mentoring
  • internal development
  • external courses

Business training

Staff training helps you improve your business functions. Your staff will learn key skills in areas, which can include:

  • finance
  • sales
  • marketing
  • administration
  • staff management

When you identify a business requirement that you need to train your staff to do, consider dedicated training sessions that you conduct or hire a professional to conduct.


Mentoring can be an effective way to develop your skills and your employees' skills at little or no cost.

This type of development can include:

  • mentoring
  • coaching
  • job shadowing

You can encourage informal mentoring between two co-workers with different levels of experience. It's a great way to support productive relationships in the workplace and to support one employee’s skill and knowledge development, while you also develop another employee's teaching skills.

If your team does not have the expertise to help advance your employees, consider helping your employee find an external mentor. A mentor who is not connected to the business can provide your employee with new perspectives and guidance.

External training and courses

You can send staff to external training and courses, or you can get an external provider to present training at your business. These opportunities allow for very specific learning outcomes.

Before you can offer external training and courses to your staff or consider including them in an employee’s professional development plan.

Skills, funding and programs

You and your employees may be eligible for a range of funding and assistance programs that support skills and training.

If you or your employees are migrants or humanitarian entrants, you may be eligible to receive assistance from the Adult Migrant English Program, which provides up to 510 hours of free English language tuition.

Are you thinking about offering an apprenticeship or traineeship to one of your employees, or employing an apprentice or trainee? If yes, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website for information about:

The Foundation Skills for Your Future Program is a free Australian Government training initiative helping employers and their people improve their reading, writing, maths, English language and digital skills.

The Job Ready Program is for international graduates who have studied in Australia and have an Australian trade qualification, and who want to demonstrate their 'job readiness' to Australian employers.

If you're interested in employing someone who is likely to be committed and enthusiastic, and who offers an international perspective, read the program's information for prospective employers.

If you're a job seeker interested in starting and running a small business, you can get practical small business training, business mentoring and financial assistance from the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.

The Skills for Education and Employment program provides language, literacy and numeracy training to eligible job seekers, to help them participate more effectively in training or in the labour force.

If you have an apprentice, let them know about Trade Support Loans. It could be just the support they need to help them complete their training.

Loans of up to $20,000 are available to apprentices who are:

  • working in occupations on the National Skills Needs List, such as plumbers, diesel mechanics, electricians, and fitters
  • working towards some horticulture or agriculture qualifications

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