I'm currently working as a listing agent for a home in the DC Metro area and the buyer's agent is a newbie. I always have a heart for newbies because I can remember those first weeks in real estate and how I walked around looking like a "deer in the headlights". The buyer's agent is completely clueless and it doesn't have to be that way.
When I was licensed in 2003, the large, well-known brokerage that I joined had a requirement that I attend two full weeks of classes as preparation for the real world. Looking back on it now- it was such a waste of time because you can't possibly force-feed all of that information to new agents and then expect them to start selling in the field and not have issues. Oh, there are going to be issues. That I can guarantee.
I was one of those agents that at least knew what I didn't know, so I think I was lucky in that aspect. In other words, I didn't know squat about the right way to practice real estate let alone understanding the massive number of contractual forms that play such integral part of what we do day to day. So, I basically paid for help in my office until I got myself to a point where at a minimum I knew where to go to get answers to all of my questions.
The local real estate board was a wealth of information and I took as many classes as possible. To this day, 13 years later, I'm at the local real estate board almost every week taking a class. You can be in this business for 30+ years and not totally understand the contract docs, addendums, disclosures, etc. and they really make a difference in a deal.
So, here's my suggestion to brokerages around the country. Rather than unleashing your newbie on the streets and hoping for the best, why not set up a system where the newbie is VERY closely monitored until they've done at least a half dozen deals (or more)? Having a broker or manager with the agent every step of the way when they're first getting started would really make a difference. I know it would for the poor buyer's agent that I'm currently working with and I'm sure her client would be the most appreciative of all!