James Williams is the latest automotive industry specialist to join the MTA in training the next generation of Panel Beaters at the Training and Employment Centre.
James credits his passion for the automotive industry to his dad who was a Panel Beater for more than 20 years saying, “I worked on old cars with the old man when I was younger including an FC Wagon and an FJ ute. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my dad and he showed me the ins and outs of the trade. I found a passion for body repair on trucks and buses and when I did my apprenticeship, no one else was really interested in that area.”
After completing his Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing (panel beating and automotive refinishing) and completing his apprenticeship in Panel Beating at All Transport Crash Repairs, James worked at Premier Panel before being asked by All Transport to return to the their workshop, totalling approximately 14 years in the trade before commencing as a trainer at the MTA last month.
“I applied for the role at the MTA for two reasons. I wanted a career change and wanted to pass on knowledge that I have acquired over my career. Apprentices always came to me at work asking for help when they were struggling and I have kept in contact with two who had doubts in the beginning but after I told them to stick with it and push through the training, they got fully qualified.”
James says he found a knack for helping young people get through their automotive training and after a record intake of apprentices this last financial year at the Training and Employment Centre, the MTA was looking for another Panel Beater Trainer to assist current trainer Dave Pullman.
Technology advancements are something on James’s mind as well and he recognises that every workshop has different requirements and skills needs.
“Technology forms the basis of what we use and do in any workshop and staying on top of that is vital in understanding what our apprentices need to get the job done. What works for one workshop might not work for another, so I am mindful of that when an apprentice comes to me for help.”
James also coaches basketball in his spare time and holds a First Aid Certificate.