Training Benefits | The Employers Perspective
with Joe Giura, Director
Why do you choose to train apprentices? What does an apprentice bring to your team?
They bring youth to the team but we also have an obligation to make sure that our industry continues and to have a high standard of tradesperson. We also need to have something for future generations – once I'm gone obviously someone needs to be doing what I'm doing. The only way to do those two things is by training people.
In my opinion training is, in essence, the beginning and the end of our economy, our industry, our lifestyle, everything, and I don't care if it's this industry or another, we all have an obligation to train people and pass on our knowledge.
How do you recruit your apprentices?
Carefully, very carefully. We look for the high achievers. Traditionally they go through a recruitment and examination process. If they fall within 65-70% or below, they will be destined to fail. We need to find the high achievers, because this industry is a highly technical field and people within the industry need to be dedicated to this industry.
All my apprentices are MTA WA Automotive Institute of Technology [AIT] apprentices. I used to indenture my own apprentices but using the MTA WA Group Training Scheme has advantages: they find the apprentices and you get to choose which apprentice you want, and they have a mentor who talks to the apprentices and is independent from us.
What is your approach to apprentice training? How do you make training work for you and your apprentice?
Our apprentices are not only trained by the AIT but we also have an internal training program and a dedicated person on the floor responsible for apprentice training. We focus on what the apprentices are being taught at AIT and we boost and reinforce that with independent training to make sure they know what they're doing.
I have high expectations of my apprentices to become productive and self-sufficient very quickly – I don't expect them to push brooms for years on end. I expect them very quickly to be working on their own and finding out their own strengths and weaknesses. We'll pick up on those weaknesses and help them with that, either through one-on-one coaching or if we see an opportunity, we'll get involved on the floor and assist them in that particular component. We also host product training for all staff, not just apprentices.
In 10 years time, where do you think the industry will be? What do you think today's apprentices need to be learning to be ready for those changes?
Licensing of tradespeople and business premises is 'professionalising' our industry, so I would like to think our industry will be very professional and respected in 10 years. Traditionally, it's been looked on as a 'greasy rag' industry but those days are well and truly gone. The level of ability you need is on par with other careers such as accounting, electricians, IT and many other professions– it's no longer an apprenticeship, it's more a career.
We do a lot of In Step and school work experience and what young people need to be learning now is a high level of maths, English and science and all core subjects before they enter this field. The core subjects at school need to be as strong as if they were going to go to university because that's how high the level of technology in our industry is now.
If you could give one piece of advice to an employer considering taking on an apprentice, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to take an apprentice on. The rewards for a successful apprentice cannot be measured. The personal reward you have from seeing an apprentice grow and become a technician, it's very rewarding. If handled correctly, an apprentice is a productive and valuable asset.
Get Started training your future employees
The MTA WA's Automotive Institute of Technology is committed to providing your apprentice or trainee with the highest quality training; so that they can become an important part of your business.
We offer employers a number of options of course delivery and employment including employment-based, or campus-based training models and a choice between employment through our Group Training Organisation, or employing your apprentice yourself.