August 2017 MTAI Apprentice of the Month – James Corbett

James Corbett is the MTA Institute Apprentice of the Month for August. The 21-year-old, 4th-year, Light Vehicle apprentice has been working at Auto Giant in Brendale since he began his apprenticeship three years ago and his passion for the industry has him marked as a future tradesman to watch.

“He is a really good kid,” said Tony Fasano, James’ employer at Auto Giant. “He is really enthusiastic and some day will have his own business and be doing his own thing. He actually said that to me on his first day here and I am doing everything I can to help him on that journey.

“He goes the extra step – he keeps going, finds the information he needs, does things outside the circle and has the drive to succeed.”

A car enthusiast since he was a child, James made a late decision to turn to the auto industry – a decision that saw him leave university where he was studying Information Technology (I.T.).

“As a kid, I was always tearing things down and putting them back together, and when I got my first car I worked on that a lot,” he said. “I went to university to study I.T. but I discovered that I needed to work on cars more! So, I became a tyre fitter and then came to Auto Giant as an apprentice mechanic.”

Working at Auto Giant means James gets to train and work across a wide range of disciplines and on an equally wide range of vehicles. And given owner Tony’s long background in motorsport, there has also been the chance to get involved there too.

“We work on a lot of different vehicles and do electronics, upgrades and modifications, diagnostics, airbag suspension and I was involved in prepping a TA2 race car and worked the pit crew at the track,” said James. “Being involved in motorsport is fun – you get to see how a little tweak can improve power, or how a change to suspension can give more grip and downforce. I like the wide range of stuff we do here and I think, as a mechanic, you need to learn everything, especially as in the future we can expect to see electric cars and so on.”

“I am really pleased he has been named Apprentice of the Month,” said Kevin Ryan, James’ MTA Institute trainer. “I’ve been training him since he started his apprenticeship and he has come a long way. He is really putting in the effort, and the passion he is showing for the job is great to see.”

With less than a year left of his apprenticeship, James’ future looks bright and he has his sights set on one day running his own business.

“I’d like to stay here for a while and get more experience,” he said. “But the goal would definitely be to have my own workshop.”