Across Queensland, there are many skilled and experienced workers, across a range of industries and sectors, including the automotive industry, who though they do not have a trade qualification, are delivering quality service to customers and have been doing so for many years.

While they do not have a trade qualification, however, and may not see the need in getting one, there are, in fact, some great reasons for doing so, and it is a simple and straightforward process to do just that, through recognition of prior learning (RPL) or trade recognition.

Through trade recognition, experienced and skilled workers receive a nationally-recognised trade qualification, and in return for a relatively small investment in time and money, the benefits are substantial.

These benefits include being able to employ and supervise apprentices, consider becoming an approved vehicle inspector/examiner and apply for a job where a formal qualification is a pre-requisite. On top of those benefits, there is also the undeniable truth that being qualified instils a sense of trust in customers.

“The procedure is simple if the candidate has the skills and knowledge required and is able to produce some evidence to support their experience,” said Marcello Riotto, Operations Manager for the MTA Institute.

“It begins with the completion of a simple application form capturing when and where the skills and knowledge were gained. That application is then scrutinised and, if accepted, an assessor contacts the applicant and arranges a series of assessment dates to evaluate the candidate.

“The entire process from start to finish takes less than six months and can be considerably shorter than that depending on the availability of all parties and the applicant’s competence.”
For John Di Mauro, co-founder with Tony Martin of Motovated Turbo and Mechanical in Toowoomba, the trade recognition process, and receiving his light vehicle qualification, was quick and simple and, for someone who was just establishing a new business, an important step.

After a lifetime of interest in cars – of building them, racing them, repairing and maintaining them, and working professionally in the turbocharging and performance sectors, John decided that, with the creation of the company, it was time to get those accumulated skills and those years of experience recognised.

“Given that we now had our own workshop, I thought it would be good if I was ‘qualified’ and be able to say, if anyone asked, that I am a fully-qualified mechanic,” he said.

“It was a business decision but also a personal goal. In the past, when I’ve built show cars and drag cars, for instance, people would say, ‘You’re a mechanic then?’ and I would say ‘No’ and I would feel a little bit inferior in admitting that. Now I can say that I am a mechanic and that is a satisfaction thing.

“It’s a psychological as well as a confidence booster,” he added. “I feel like I can attack things even more now, knowing that my skills, and the way I think and work is the right way and that I am on the right path.

“It’s something I would definitely recommend others do,” added John.

“I have talked to friends who are in the industry and who are switched on, smart, can do everything that they need to be able to do their jobs but don’t have that qualification. Why not get that bit of paper and make it official?”

9 Aug 2018