The inaugural AccelR8 automotive training program has concluded, with 78 year 12 students undertaking the program to attain a Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation.
13 students completed the AccelR8 program with MTAI this year, receiving their qualification at a grand graduation ceremony in November.
The ceremony marked the end of a long period of training. The AccelR8 program began in February and combined 8 months of practical and theoretical study for the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation. As part of the AccelR8 program the students also undertook a 20-week (one day per week) work experience placement at an automotive business.
An initiative of Queensland’s Department of Education and Training (DET), the AccelR8 ‘school-to-work’ transition program is designed to address the 55 per cent attrition rate of apprentices from the automotive industry, and to prepare year 12 students for the move to full-time employment. At the end of the program, which coincided with the students completing Year 12, their work placement employer had the opportunity to take them on as a full-time apprentice.
It was an opportunity that several employers took and four of the students are now starting apprenticeships, with another three expected to receive offers shortly.
“This was the first year that the AccelR8 program has been run and it went extremely well and we are very pleased with the outcome,” said Jeff Mann, the students’ MTAI trainer.
“The course has given the students a great foundation as they head into the workforce, and for those who haven’t yet landed an apprenticeship, having completed the program will help them – it is evidence of their commitment to the automotive industry.”
Medene Woods, Field Officer for the DET, managed the program and was pleased with the positive outcomes.
“It has gone tremendously well,” she said. “The program is a fantastic way for employers to view young people in their workplace prior to employing them as an apprentice. It is also a great opportunity for the students to be exposed to the automotive industry and learn the culture, ethics and expectations of a workplace. The real-world working experience has certainly given them a head start for their automotive career.”
Work is already underway in preparation for the 2016 program.
“We are already talking to students and getting expressions of interest from them,” said Ms Woods.
“It is a terrific program to be part of,” she added. “These kids are very passionate about the industry, so it was tremendous to watch them receive their certificates at the graduation.”