The MTA Queensland Brought Together MTA Institute Trainers From Across The State In December For Its Annual Three-Day Trainers’ Conference.

An opportunity for the trainers to collaborate on various issues, the conference also offered workshops on mobile plant, parts interpreting, underbody, and body repair and refinishing as well as presentations from the Department of Education and Training and updates on new procedures and technology to be introduced in 2017.

“Our on-site delivery model means we our delivering training to workplaces across the state to more than 1550 students,” said Paul Kulpa, General Manager of MTA Institute. “With more than 30 trainers delivering that service across such a large area the conference is a great opportunity to get everyone together to talk about issues, share experiences and review our processes and look at what we can improve.

“All the trainers benefit from the conference. From receiving an overview of the organisation’s strategic plan to information technology updates and professional development opportunities, everyone gets something from the three days.”

Particular focus at this year’s conference was placed on the new AUR16 training package for apprenticeships and the new technology that will be available to both trainers and students that will make the apprenticeship journey even more streamlined.

“We did look closely at the new AUR16 training package and how it will change some of the operational processes we currently use,” said Mr Kulpa. “Another very important aspect of the conference was to introduce to the trainers the MyProfiling application that will be launched in 2017.”

The MyProfiling system is a web-based application that will provide students, trainers and employers a level of interaction and engagement not yet seen in the training sector and will see the MTA Institute reinforce its reputation for innovative and industry-leading training delivery. 

“MyProfiling will assist us in meeting the new requirements for AUR16 and will also allow us to move everything to the digital environment,” said James Orr, Chief Information Officer for MTA Queensland.

“In the digital space, we can automate processes and give people greater visibility over their portfolio, make things easier to manage and offer greater visibility to employers and supervisors over their students.

“Employers and supervisors will have access to MyProfiling and be able to monitor and view the progress of their students. Given the online nature of the system, they will also have the ability to authenticate work-based elements of training at any time and from anywhere.

“For the student, they will no longer be required to have a training record book or, in fact, any workbooks because everything they need will be online. All they will need is access to a tablet and the internet. This will greatly reduce the burden on the student.

“MyProfiling will give us a significant advantage over competitors. No other system allows the visibility over a student’s progress within the training process, enabling employers to ensure the training provided is fulfilling all the requirement for their apprentice.”

“Innovation and client engagement is always a focus for us,” added Mr Kulpa. “The MyProfiling system will allow employers to be more involved in their apprentices’ training than ever before and will give trainers the ability to monitor a student’s progress from afar. The level of transparency is a terrific aspect of the system and being so connected with the students will be beneficial to everyone involved.”

Along with the MyProfiling system, other technologies designed to streamline and strengthen connectivity are being introduced.

“The Microsoft Sharepoint system will introduce a shared platform through which everyone in the wider MTA Queensland team can work collaboratively,” said Mr Orr. “While MyProfiling will handle certain aspects of learning delivery, the teaching aids, such as videos and modelling, will be enabled through Sharepoint.

“By using these applications and using them in conjunction with tablet hardware such as the iPad, trainers will no longer require a laptop, it will reduce overheads, and paperwork will all but disappear apart from where it is a legal requirement.

“In terms of moving the business forward it is a big step toward total mobility.”

Another aspect of new technology discussed at the conference was the use of social media. A vital marketing and communication tool for any enterprise, the use of our four social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (all found by searching “MTA Queensland”), has become integral to the way the MTA Queensland works and Lysa Dugandzic, MTA Queensland’s Marketing and Communications Manager, held a presentation to bring the trainers up to speed on the avenues open to them.

“Social media channels are very important as, used appropriately, they increase the Association’s profile and brand with both industry and the public,” said Ms Dugandzic. “As more people come to the MTA Queensland through these channels there will be a flow-on effect both through an increase in membership and an uptake in MTA Institute training services.

“The trainers’ use of these channels will allow us to be able to quickly share the great work they are doing, as well as that of their apprentices and MTA Queensland members. The trainers are an important part of the automotive industry and understand it well so what interests them will certainly interest others and we will be encouraging them to share amusing, educational and inspirational stories, videos and images across the MTA Queensland social media network.”

Although the MTA Queensland trainers’ conference is important for networking, sharing and delivering professional development, the annual gathering is not all about work. This year’s conference was capped by the annual MTA Queensland Christmas dinner, held at The Landing at Dockside resort in Brisbane. A chance for everyone to relax after a challenging and rewarding year, the evening’s highlight was the presentation of the Trainer of the Year Award, won this year by Keith Minchin, a Light Vehicle mechanical trainer for the Brisbane metro west region.

Involved in the automotive industry since 1976, Keith began his career as a mechanic working in general automotive and light truck repairs before doing stints with Mitsubishi, Ferrari and Maserati in various technical roles. In 2012, he began working as a trainer with MTA Institute and his high level of professionalism, and the high regard in which he is held by his students and their employers, make him a worthy winner of the 2016 Trainer of the Year Award.

“I was very surprised and proud to receive the MTAQ Trainer of the Year award,” said Keith. “We have many talented trainers in our ranks and to be selected was a real honour.

“In my career, I have always enjoyed participating in and delivering technical training and it is very satisfying to see students’ progress in their technical competency. It builds confidence and opens a range of career opportunities the student may not have even considered at the start of their apprenticeship.

“I strongly believe that skill and knowledge empowers people in many ways and I always encourage students to go beyond what they have to do.

“The important thing in any  career is to do what you are interested in, and then do it to the best of your ability.  An apprenticeship is just the beginning, we never stop learning and technology never stops evolving.”

Keith said that the training model used by MTA Institute enabled him to deliver a winning combination of training that was not only targeted to the individual but allowed plenty of input from employers and supervisors, and enabled him to include new and developing technologies.

“Working for MTA Institute has given me the opportunity to pass on the vast amount of experience I have gained working in the industry for over 30 years,” he said. “The great advantage of the one-on-one delivery model is that we can tailor the training to appeal to the students’ style of learning and workplace requirements without the distraction of a large group while also allowing for the employer to easily provide feedback or discuss any concerns which arise.

“Keith is extremely professional and we receive continual positive feedback from his students and their employers,” said Dr Brett Dale, MTA Queensland CEO. “He is a very positive contributor to the business and his productivity and quality outcomes are demonstrated over and over again.“There has been a huge amount of technical evolution in the industry over the past 30 years and it continues to evolve at a rapid pace. I have a particular interest in electronics which I pursue in my spare time and I find myself constantly looking at ways to demonstrate and explain current technology of modern vehicles. I believe we have very exciting times ahead in the automotive sector.”

“Nothing is too hard for Keith. He has a true ‘can-do’ attitude and this award recognises his outstanding ability to engage and work positively with co-workers, students, employers and all the stakeholders with whom
he engages.”