Auto Camp – A Hit with The Teens

In the July school holidays, the MTA Institute started a new and exciting initiative. Auto Camp; a three-day course designed for high-school students aged between 14 to 17.

“Auto Camp was born out of an idea that would allow teenagers a chance to see if they’re interested in some of the basic aspects of the automotive industry with a view to helping them make more informed decisions about the future,” said Marcello Riotto, Operations Manager of Training.

“The MTA Institute saw a gap in the market and decided to offer a short course to high school students that would be compatible with their age group and give them a chance to get some hands-on experience and a general overview of what to expect in the automotive sector.”

And what a success it was. Joined by 28 enthusiastic students, Auto Camp proved to be a great learning exercise, as well as great fun.

Jack Dugandzic, a 15-year-old student from John Paul College joined Auto Camp with not a great deal of knowledge about the motor trades, but a general interest in cars.

“After the first day I felt like I’d learnt more about a combustion engine than I would ever be able to learn at school,” Jack said.

“I found the content very interesting and it was great to get hands-on learning, which I really enjoy.”

And this was one of the main objectives of Auto Camp. Designed to offer introductory level content and experiences over three days, the Camp included paint and panel including the preparation and repair of a damaged vehicle body, the assembly and manufacturing of an electronic project as well as insight into mechanical technologies, tools and equipment, vehicle inspection, component identification and engine function and operation.

Sebastian Howie another student from John Paul College said, “The trainers have been awesome, they’re really thorough with their explanation and the practical stuff is great. It’s a really cool thing to do in the holidays. It doesn’t feel like school at all, but I’ve learnt a lot.”

Auto Camp got a surprise visit from ABC Radio Brisbane, where some of the students were interviewed by Craig Zonca about their experience for the morning radio program.

“I think Auto Camp has been a spectacular success. The engagement is great, the students are loving it and I think we’ve really nailed the content,” said Marcello.

And when asked if any of the participants would potentially go on to a career in automotive, Marcello had no doubt.

“Absolutely. Out of the 28 students I’d be surprised if a third don’t move into viable employment or apprenticeships within the automotive industry. I’ve seen a terrific amount of genuine interest for a career in the motor trades. It was also fabulous to see two young ladies at the Camp. The MTA Institute is a big supporter of women in trades and actively encourages females to follow their interests.”

And the students seemed to agree with the sentiment.

“Auto Camp has definitely given me more of an idea about what I’d like to do after school,” said Jack.

“I’ve loved learning about engines and how they operate. It’s been amazing to use the tools and get some real-life workshop experience.

“I feel like what I’ve learned will come in handy when I get my first car and I’d definitely be interested in thinking about career options within the automotive industry after this.”

The MTA Institute will be offering Auto Camp every school holidays with the next course on 25-27 September 2018. Find out more at

9 Jul 2018