MTAQ a one-stop shop for training and business services

Running a business is hard work. It takes tireless dedication and the hours can be long and vacations brief and infrequent. Finding a way to streamline processes, make things less time consuming, and relieve some of the pressure is a very meaningful pursuit.

Offering services that help businesses with this pursuit is part of MTA Queensland’s mission and the Association does so through projects such as the Small Business Digital Champion initiative, the 2mota platform, the work of MTAiQ, and the full range of training and apprenticeship options available through MTA Institute, amongst other programs.

Richard Watson, owner of heavy vehicle maintenance business X-HD in Brisbane, recently took advantage of some of those training services.

X-HD delivers mechanical maintenance services to transportation, mining and earthmoving businesses, as well as fabricating and building trailers for heavy vehicles such as water trucks, and the business comprises Richard, apprentice Tyson Blythe and technician Ronaldo Dosantos.

A New Zealander, Richard began his career and completed his heavy vehicle apprenticeship with Independent Forklifts in Christchurch before moving into the mining industry with the much-respected Gough Group, working in Westport on the South Island. Moving to Australia in 2010, and after working for a few years in the mining industry in Mackay, he established X-HD four years ago.

Keen to get his NZ qualifications and experience recognised in Australia, Richard began looking to go through the process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and, following some disappointment with a previous training organisation, finding a new provider who could help steer Tyson through his apprenticeship.

“Apprenticeship Support said they would ask MTA Queensland to call as they’d had nothing but good reports about them,” said Richard. “They were in touch with me within an hour-and-a-half of that call, and then a representative came out to get some information and talk through the process, and it went from there.

“I then met with Jeff Mann, the trainer, for a couple of days and went through all the paperwork for the trade recognition. We were able to do that and complete some assessments fairly quickly and it really was a pretty painless process.

“What I really liked about it was that it wasn’t just an ‘I’m happy with that’ situation. We went through everything and dotted the ‘i’s and crossed the ‘t’s, and were even able to do the assessments here, on site. And that was great because in between doing the assessments, I was able to keep the boys running in the shop. That makes things a lot easier, especially when you’re a small business.”

Bringing Tyson across to do his heavy vehicle apprenticeship with the MTA Institute also had its benefits, not least in the onsite training delivery that the Institute uses.

“It is great to have the training on site here for a number of reasons,” said Richard. “Firstly, you don’t lose your apprentice to block course training. We rely on Tyson to do a lot around here – not least the smoko run, which is a very important job! – and losing him to block course training would be tough. And secondly, having Jeff come to us every few weeks and be contactable means he is able to keep his eye on Tyson. That support means that if Tyson should struggle with something, he can get the help he needs. And Jeff is a terrific trainer and really knows his stuff.”

Having sorted out his RPL and organised apprenticeship training for Tyson, Richard also worked with the MTA Institute on organising some extra training for himself. First, there was some air conditioning training.

“There was no hesitation when I mentioned that – it was a case of, ‘Yep. OK. We’ve got a course in six weeks,’ and I was booked in on the spot, no dramas.” said Richard.

He also decided that an auto-electrical qualification would come in very useful. Having worked on battery-electric forklifts over the years, and recognising the fast-changing landscape of the auto industry will mean electric and hybrid vehicles are going to become more common, Richard signed up for the auto-electrical qualification to start in 2020.

“Auto-electrical is a great skill to have,” he said. “An understanding of electrical systems and circuits, and some knowledge of the more advanced areas, is going to become vital. I have plenty of experience working on battery-electric forklifts and that knowledge will be handy but, in a few years’ time, some of the stuff we are going to be working on is going to be electric or hybrid and we’re going to at least need to know the basics.

“Working with MTA Queensland has been great. The support has been unbelievable and getting all this done really has been very simple.”

Through the provision of a comprehensive set of industry-leading programs and initiatives, service and support, MTA Queensland makes the perfect partner for automotive businesses.

“MTA Queensland is a one-stop shop,” said Business Development Manager Anthony Bonaccorso. “Small businesses often have limited resources available, so recruiting and hiring their next employee or employees can be timely and costly.

“MTA Queensland understands the demands and frustrations that automotive businesses face and works hard to assist them with support, advocacy, training, and innovation services, and keep them informed of best business practices and available resources. Our staff know the automotive landscape and we strive to take away the added stresses of running a modern business. We help businesses get what they need with good, old-fashioned service with a smile!”

Source: Motor Trader E-Magazine (Dec 2019/Jan 2020)

18 Dec 2019