Vocational Preparation Course the first step to Auto Industry Career

At the beginning of the year, the MTA Institute launched a new round of its pre-apprenticeship vocational preparation course, and the third group of students to take the course have been busy at work since mid-May.

The Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation program is designed to give students a comprehensive set of skills as a basic introduction to the automotive industry and delivers training in areas such as the service of service mechanical parts and suspension systems, the identification and inspection of mechanical and electrical components, and the performance of basic maintenance and repairs.

Developed to assist industry in finding quality apprentices and employees, the aim of the five-week, full-time Automotive Vocational Preparation course is to develop individuals who have an interest in the trades but who have not had the opportunity to start a career in the industry.

“The MTA Institute has always sought to help the industry by introducing people to the trades through these introductory courses,” said Paul Kulpa, General Manager MTA Institute. “This course gives participants the chance to decide whether a career in the industry is something they really want by offering the opportunity to learn the ropes in a simulated workshop environment.”

For students Georgia Wharton, 18, and Ashleigh Johnson, 23, a career in the automotive industry is what they had in mind, and the Cert II course is not only confirming that their decision to choose automotive is the right one but is giving them the self-belief that such a career is within their grasp.

“The course is really good,” said Georgia. “We’ve been able to pull an engine apart and see how it works, and learn about fuel capacity and burn rates amongst other things. And in our first week we did theory work and learned about environmental practice in the workshop and understanding tools.

“I had already done a Certificate I course here at MTA Institute and really wanted to come back and do the Cert II. And it has really confirmed that automotive is something I want to do.”
Ashleigh too, is something of a car nut. The mother of three owns a number of cars – including a 1971 VW Beetle – and has worked as a car detailer. Her true passion, however, is fixing cars.

“I’ve tinkered around with cars my whole life and come from a big car family – lots of brothers!” she said. “I’m actually rebuilding the engine on my Beetle at the moment, doing a generator to alternator conversion and also working on the clutch and a gasket. It should be back together soon.

“As a mother of three I have been ‘mumming’ for a while, but I am now working to get back into what I really want to do,” she added. “I’ve been looking for an apprenticeship for a long time but have always been turned down and been told that I need to get a Certificate II to really get a fair shot. So, I decided to jump into this course and give myself a chance.

“And it is a great course and really good preparation. It gives you the confidence that you know the basics when going for an apprenticeship.”

That preparation and confidence is exactly what the course is designed to provide said Mr Kulpa.

“We introduced the vocational preparation course because employers were asking us if there were any good calibre candidates who were looking for work,” he said. “The course helps us find those candidates, helps us develop and encourage them. And trainees who show the right attitude will have assistance in finding work experience that will, hopefully, lead to a job and a career in the automotive industry.

“Assisting industry and those looking to get into the automotive trades is what we do.”