It’s challenging for any industry when dealing with a skills shortage. In Victoria, the automotive industry is facing that challenge and the vocational education and training (VET) sector is in top gear skilling up as many apprentices as possible.
The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) says skills development is essential for any business to succeed. Through its Skills Development Centre, VACC aims to provide its more than 5,000 members, who operate small and medium businesses, with employees well equipped to succeed in the retail automotive industry.
‘We began our VET programs to recruit and host out apprentices so they could get a taste of different workplaces,’ says Nigel Muller, Executive Manager of Training, Automotive Apprenticeships and Skills Development Centre. ‘Today we facilitate industry-relevant training for our members who need quality automotive experts. Currently, we have 300 members waiting for apprentices.’
VACC runs VET programs designed to launch careers through Automotive Apprenticeships and School-Based Traineeships in a wide range of positions. Motor mechanics are on the list, as are motorcycle mechanics, panel beaters, spray painters, engine reconditioners, forklift mechanics or marine technicians. Automotive Administrators and Automotive Sales are also attractive career opportunities.
VACC members employ more than 50,000 Victorians professionally trained to national standards to work in key service areas.
‘We’re here to support those who want to work in the automotive industry to find and keep steady employment,’ says Nigel. ‘We connect repairers with workshops looking for staff and train the next generation of auto repairers through our specially tailored apprenticeship programs.’
Apprentices need to first go through high-quality training and demonstrate these skills and knowledge in a workplace environment to graduate with a Certificate III Automotive qualification.
‘Of great importance,’ says Nigel, ‘is our relationships with quality training providers in regional and metropolitan areas throughout Victoria. This helps us meet the demand for training, which has multiplied in all sectors of the quickly evolving automotive industry.’
VACC won the Victorian Industry Collaboration Award in 2015 and in 2013 placed as a national finalist in the 2013 Australian Training Awards.
‘It was great to be recognised for the work we do,’ said Nigel. ‘We run an excellent program and the awards are evidence of that. Our VET program is about retention and quality outcomes and our apprentices come from all walks of life and backgrounds.
To find out more about how you can gain real skills for a real career through a VET qualification, visit www.myskills.gov.au
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To invite VACC to share their success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.