The Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA NSW), an Employers Association representing thousands of automotive businesses in NSW, has developed a school-based program aimed at showcasing to High School students the opportunities available for apprenticeships within the automotive industry.
The ‘Start with an Automotive Trade’ (SWAAT) program, proudly funded by the NSW Government, aims to connect High School students, via their Career Advisors, and local Employers to participate in ‘hands on’ training sessions delivered by MTA NSW Trainers, with the potential for work placement and apprenticeships within metropolitan and regional communities.
This program stems from the need to address the estimated 10,000 plus short fall in NSW for qualified automotive technicians and specialists, and to help identify a career pathway for the technology, qualifications and jobs that will be required to service a rapidly changing national fleet of over 6.6 million vehicles in NSW.
“With a very high demand for automotive apprentices, working in the automotive industry can provide stable employment prospects and real career advancement for school leavers, especially for women in the trades. Sadly, over the last two decades the percentage of women in the manual trades in Australia has remained static with only 3% of women currently employed in the telecommunications and electrotechnology trades, and just 1% of those working in construction, engineering and the automotive trades. MTA NSW as a leading registered automotive training organisation (RTO), trains thousands of students throughout NSW every year, unfortunately only approximately 10% are females. We would like to see this percentage rise as they are highly sought after due to their attention to detail”, said Phillip Cue, MTA NSW Senior Manager – Training.
The SWAAT program is being rolled out over the next 12 months across metropolitan and regional NSW via information sessions delivered to High School Career’s Advisors.
“This MTA NSW initiative seeks to highlight that an automotive Vocational Education and Training (VET) pathway via an apprenticeship, can be an attractive option and one that enables school leavers to ‘Earn while they Learn’ an automotive trade, which is desperately needed within the industry. The current shortage within NSW of over 10,000 qualified technicians accounting for 34% of the national shortage, is causing delays for consumers and increased workplace stress for many automotive small businesses as increasing workloads impact on the sustainability of the workforce”, MTA NSW CEO, Stavros Yallouridis said.
Initiatives provided via this SWAAT program for participants include:
• Career Advisors – Access to student career material and work placement links with local Employers
• Employers – Provision of work placements which could lead to securing an apprentice (s)
• High School Students – ‘Hands on’ training sessions conducted at local employers by MTA NSW Trainers to deliver basic vehicle maintenance and vehicle operations sessions, with individual sessions for male and female students