MTA NSW: Preparing Repairers Towards 2020

It is common knowledge that we live in an ever changing world and that the speed of technological change is increasing exponentially. The Automotive repairer must keep pace and even predict where the technological change is going. We need to train now for the skills of tomorrow. Is the training for skills that are required in 4 years’ time available now?

Vehicle design trends shape how we as repairers do business. We are now grappling with the knowledge required to match and diagnose problems on the current vehicles. We can all remember carburetor servicing and solving distributor based electrical problems. Think back and reminisce of some of the pains and joys of the past mechanical repair accomplishments and how much more simple our lives were in terms of tooling requirements and the knowledge base.

We all understand that change is now the essence in every aspect of what we do. Consider some of the evolving technology and the driving forces that cause the vehicle evolution including; Autonomous Vehicle Systems, Global Positioning, Climate Change, Pollution and Electric and Hybrid Drive systems.

A recent statement has indicated that Volvo have decided to incorporate Electric or Hybrid technologies in all of their passenger vehicles from 2019. This statement has made us all think about some other recent decisions that impact on our future repairs and maintenance tasks. These decisions include;

•    Paris having restrictions on the emissions of vehicles entering the city, complying vehicles must have a sticker certifying compliance.
•    London has restrictions on the vehicles that can enter that city and there is also a tax applied for entry.
•    The UK is considering a payment system to get owners of Diesel powered passenger cars to either scrap the car or change the powertrain or fuel system .
•    Australian Government has vowed to reduce the Co2 emission from vehicles by another 20 – 30% by 2020.
•    The adoption of the SAE’s 5 levels of vehicle autonomy into the policy planning for 2020.

It is clear that by the time our 2017 new automotive apprentices finish their trade training they will definitely be working on autonomous, electric and hybrid vehicles every day. We must consider this in the recruitment of apprentices and selection of the content of the training that they have as part of their training.

If businesses are currently considering an addition of a new apprentice then it would also be prudent to implement strategies that include assessment of current aptitude to both mechanical and electrical concepts as well as the applicant’s technological literacy.

When businesses do find a suitable candidate, ensure that the Registered Training Organisation has the flexibility to incorporate units of competency that match the businesses scope of work and has a degree of future planning in it.  

There is a training package that details the make-up of the qualifications for apprentices in the automotive trades. The details of each qualification can be found on the Australian Training website training.gov.au. It is important that businesses have a look at the qualification and know which units are available to select from.

The MTA NSW Training Department is able to discuss how a training plan for apprentices might be developed. MTA NSW is able to train people and our model of delivery is “workplace delivery”. This model gives the business the added benefit of having the trainer come to the workplace; the business does not have to send the employee offsite for training. MTA NSW will help plan your future capability.

For further information, please contact the MTA NSW Training Department on (02) 9016 9000 or training@mtansw.com.au.