Idle Hands Kept Busy During the School Holidays

MTA Queensland’s Auto Camp – a three-day, school-holiday course designed to introduce 14 to 17 years olds to a range of automotive skills through hands-on training – was launched in 2018 and in July this year, another group of students successfully completed the educational program. The number of students was limited to eight due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, and the feedback from the teenagers and parents was outstanding, with students saying the course gave them a clearer understanding of what the automotive industry has to offer.

MTA Institute trainers have found the vast majority of students who enter the program do not realise the depth or breadth of pathways available in the automotive industry and that completing the course opens their minds to potential career options and sparks interest in new possibilities and opportunities they previously had not considered.

During the 2020 June/July school holidays, MTA Queensland welcomed eight sterling young men into the classrooms and workshops at the Association’s head office facility and it was, for some of the participants, their first time peering under a bonnet.

For Vendo Vincent, a young man who had, to this point, not expressed a serious interest in motor vehicles, the various aspects covered by the course sparked his curiosity into the potential of the industry as a career choice.

“This was my first time welding, which was my favourite part of the course, and surprisingly, I was pretty good!” he said. “I got to take a tyre off a rim too and that was cool.”

When asked if he would consider an automotive apprenticeship post Auto Camp he said, “Probably, but I’m not too sure yet.”

Harrison Cox, who comes from a family of track-racing enthusiasts and first began slinging a wrench at the tender age of just eight, was equally enthused by the Auto Camp experience. Harrison’s mother had heard about the course from a friend and immediately enrolled the enthusiastic youngster.

“My favourite part was trying to figure out all these new things about cars that I didn’t know about before, like the correct terminology for the engine parts,” he said.

“Probably the most exciting part was paint and panel because I’ve never done that before. It was pretty cool to see how all the machines and stuff work.”

Harrison now plans to take on a light vehicle mechanical apprenticeship in the near future.

As the Auto Camp participants come from different schools across Brisbane, the course is a great way for students to form new connections and bond with like-minded teens while discovering prospective pathways at one of the most formative stages in their lives.

One of the students during the June/July Auto Camp turned 14 on the last day of the course. This added another element of celebration to the final day as these eight strangers celebrated together, sharing a banquet of treats baked by the birthday boy’s mother.

As the year charges forward relentlessly, the September school holiday Auto Camp is now open for enrolment and the COVID-limited spaces are already filling quickly.

Auto Camp gives students hands-on experience in a range of different automotive skills, from new technology such as Hybrid/Electric Vehicles to the principles and maintenance of a vehicle.

This course is a great experience for those interested in electronics, engineering, design or mechanics as a career pathway or are simply interested in working on cars as a hobby.

Find out more about Auto Camp and the dates for upcoming courses at

Source: Motor Trader E-magazine (August 2020)

13 August 2020