This is the fourth instalment in our Be ambitious in
2017 series. This time we're taking a look under the bonnet of
the automotive industry and the many job opportunities it has to offer.
It's safe to say that there'll always be a demand for the services of
[quote]As long as Australians' love affair with their cars and other
vehicles continues, they'll always need people to repair and maintain them.[/quote]
You'll also be in good company. Did you know that Queen
Elizabeth II got her hands dirty as a mechanic during WWII?
It's also an interesting and varied occupation with never a dull
moment. You can be doing suspension work on Monday, building an engine
or gearbox on Wednesday and solving an electrical problem on Friday.
Firstly, there are a couple of check-boxes you'll probably need to
tick. Things like a keen interest in motor vehicles and a basic
understanding of the internal combustion engine. You'll also need to
have a good eye for detail, as you'll be working with the intricate
component parts of machines and mechanical systems. You need to be
good with your hands and have some basic mechanical aptitude. Plus a
good level of physical fitness (this ain't no desk job).
Oh, and you'll find it helpful to have a current driver's licence.
How else are you going to test-drive your work?
You'll need to have completed secondary school with satisfactory
grades in English, maths and science. It's also preferable to have
studied trade or industrial arts subjects at school such as metalwork
or technical drawing.
The best way to significantly increase your chances of finding an
apprenticeship is to enrol for the Certificate
III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology with TAFE NSW. There
are a range of automotive courses on offer with TAFE NSW, but this one
is the most suitable for someone just starting out as it has no entry
requirements and is suitable for an Australian apprenticeship pathway.
[quote]Did you know you can begin your TAFE studies while you're
still at school?[/quote]
This is through the TAFE
NSW TVET program. TVET stands for "TAFE-delivered
vocational education and training", and automotive is among the
industry areas that are eligible. It means you can learn valuable
workplace skills and gain hands-on experience while you're still at
school, increasing your prospects of gaining an apprenticeship. These
units can count towards your HSC. Upon completion of your TVET course
you'll be awarded a Certificate qualification or statement of
attainment which is nationally accredited and recognised. If you're
interested in starting your training while still at school, speak to a
career advisor either at your school or your nearest TAFE NSW campus.
[quote]Studying for your trade at TAFE is a great start, but still
doesn't necessarily guarantee an apprenticeship.[/quote]
There's a lot of competition for mechanical apprenticeships, so
you'll need to give your efforts some extra revving to put you ahead
of everyone else. In other words, you'll need to literally put
yourself out there by pounding the pavement. That is, personally
approaching the garages in your local area and asking if they'd
consider taking you on as an apprentice. You never know your luck when
taking this personal approach. Not only is Australia currently in the
midst of a skills shortage, but employers who take on new mechanic
apprentices may be eligible for financial incentives in the form of
government subsidies. Taking you on as a new apprentice can be a
win-win situation, both for your employer and for you.
Think you might be a good fit for a career in automotive industry?
Click here for more
information and to download your free course guide.