The MTA is addressing basic workshop skills for new learners

Public news

MTA Training and Employment’s new program provides young people with an opportunity to be a part of the automotive industry, even if they haven’t picked up a spanner before.

Automotive technology is rapidly evolving, and our training and apprenticeship services are moving with it. Changes to engine and vehicle technology mean tinkering with your car at home is a nostalgic memory, not grounding for future a career.

While this may cause some frustration for amateur car lovers, it is also having serious implications for the next generation of automotive technicians.

With over 300 applications a month from young people seeking to become a MTA apprentice, a surprisingly high number were unable to progress from the interview stage because of underdeveloped hand skills and minimal exposure to parts and engines, identified in the MTA’s hand skills testing.

Post interview follow ups revealed that while the applicants had a passion for the automotive industry, and performed well on language, literacy and numeracy, many had never helped with fixing or servicing the family car at home. In fact, neither had their family or friends, due to the increasing complexity of modern cars. This means many applicants never have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with basic toolmanship and component knowledge.

In response to this, the MTA has developed a three day preparation short course, with the first group starting today.

RTO Manager Mario Marrone, said the program was about ensuring that talented young people didn’t miss out.

“The industry is changing all the time, and we need to change with it. We know that you are more likely to see a scan tool instead of a spanner when you first walk into a workshop nowadays.

“You can’t just start stripping a modern engine like we did when I was a teenager. But equally we still do need apprentices to have some understanding of the basics”

“With the automotive skills shortage and automotive technology changes not going away anytime soon, we felt we needed to put in place a program so that, instead of turning them away from the industry, applicant apprentices had the opportunity to gain an understanding of the basics and could, in time, turn their passion into their career.”

The course provides an introduction to the practical skills and workshop practices used in automotive apprenticeships. The initial phase will apply to light vehicle applicants.