The Engine Room

Breaking: IR Alert - Illegal workers targeted by ABF in WA

Breaking: IR Alert - Illegal workers targeted by A…

19 July, 2018

ABF targets illegal worker exploitation in remote WA Find out who was targeted How to establish if your workers are entitled to work in WA How MTA WA Industrial Relations Dept can assist

More Industry News

Dealer Bulletin - Dept Of Transport Licensing Fees 2018/2019

Dealer Bulletin - Dept Of Transport Licensing Fees…

3 July, 2018

Click below to see the Department of Transport's Dealer Bulletin relating to licensing charges and fees for 2018/2019

Burson Auto Parts celebrate 170th store in Australia

Burson Auto Parts celebrate 170th store in Austral…

2 July, 2018

Loyal supporters of the MTA WA and automotive part supplier, Burson Auto Parts have celebrated the opening of the company’s 170th store.

Initial reliability: How do car brands rank?

Initial reliability: How do car brands rank?

25 June, 2018

California-based research firm JD Power has released the results of their Initial Quality Survey 2018 & we've brought you the key details!

Important Dealer Notice: Online Vehicle Licensing

Important Dealer Notice: Online Vehicle Licensing

22 June, 2018

Department of Transport - Dealer Bulletin 02/2018 Dealer online update: Click here to view the Department of Transport Bulletin   22-06-2018 | MTA WA Media Department | 08 9233 9800  

Funding grants for Women's Leadership Development of up to $8000 available

Funding grants for Women's Leadership Development …

21 June, 2018

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s automotive sector.

Workcover to employers: not welcome at medical appointments

Workcover to employers: not welcome at medical app…

19 June, 2018

ABC News reports that employers wanting to be present during the medical consultations of injured workers have been told by the WA Government regulator WorkCover that they are not welcome...

Australia's Automotive Industry, Landmark Report

Training Benefits | The Employers Perspective

with Graham Blow, Workshop Foreman

Big Rock

Why do you choose to train apprentices? What does an apprentice bring to your team?

A bit of youth, new ideas and enthusiasm. We can train them in the Toyota way, for our dealership anyway, and it's important for maintaining staff levels and making sure we've got the right balance of staff in the workshop.

Older staff are also not as keen to change, and with the technology of today, the older brains don't understand the electronics as much as the younger brains do. They've grown up in the electronic era and having that basic understanding helps them use modern diagnostic equipment.

How do you recruit your apprentices?

We used to do our own advertising every January for two apprentices a year. Now that we are part of AHG we have our own Training Manager, and apprenticeships are promoted through the AHG website. There are videos and information on there and potential apprentices can look at the different areas, like heavy duty and electrical, and register their interest.
The Training Manager will contact us if they have been approached and check if we need more people. If there are good ones out there, we will give them a chance.

We also still offer work experience with local schools. We have two kids come out each week at the moment for two weeks to see what it's like. We've just had someone start an apprenticeship who came and did work experience.

They've also got their own motor vehicle training school on-site at Morley delivering Certificate II for the VET kids and sometimes they send the good ones our way. These kids have actually chosen to do it at school so they think having the opportunity to do it in the real world is awesome.

What is your approach to apprentice training? How do you make training work for you and your apprentice?

We give the guys a lot of time. I'm really big on training – I worked at the MTA WA in Training for a little bit. We give them time for training, encourage them to do their paperwork. Toyota also has lots of online training and they have access to that 24/7 –we don't push them but we do encourage them to get on there.

When I was in their position, if I wasn't given the opportunities that I was given, I would not have got to where I am today, so the attitude's the same from me and everybody who comes here.

It is also an advantage to the business if the apprentices have the knowledge.

In 10 years time, where do you think the industry will be? What do you think today's apprentices need to be learning to be ready for those changes?

The electronics in vehicles have gone way ahead of what I learnt. So I think schools and the industry, we need to be looking at the electronic era more than the mechanical. Gone are the days where we get covered in grease and repairing parts. Faults in vehicles now are usually electronics-related, so they need to be a lot smarter than the average mechanic.

When I first started it was all mechanical. You had three wires going into the engine, that was about it. I ask apprentices now when they come in for the interview, 'do electronics scare you, do wire diagrams scare you because that's going to be your life?'

If you could give one piece of advice to an employer considering taking on an apprentice, what would it be?

Definitely give them a go. A good apprentice is a good asset. Technicians might say 'I don't want to train apprentices, they're going to get in the way'. If apprentices are trained properly and have the right attitude, they are an asset to any business. 

The majority of our apprentices have been successful, but I think it also helps that we encourage them to do the right thing and give them good training, so they don't just feel they're here to sweep the floor.

Get Started training your future employees

The MTA WA's Automotive Institute of Technology is committed to providing your apprentice or trainee with the highest quality training; so that they can become an important part of your business.

We offer employers a number of options of course delivery and employment including employment-based, or campus-based training models and a choice between employment through our Group Training Organisation, or employing your apprentice yourself.

For more information about employing and training an apprentice contact Des Giblett on 9233 9800 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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