SKILLS WEEK KICKS OFF WITH AUTO
Skills training and the benefits of starting vocational training through an apprenticeship pathways were top of the bill at the VACC and Kangan TAFE Skills Week function this week. This event was a great opportunity to profile apprenticeship training in the automotive industry and to reflect on the skill needs of the industry.
The Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Honourable Peter Hall, provided a key note address to the institutes automotive apprentices highlighting the value of gaining a vocational certificate in the trades. VACC Executive Director David Purchase presented an industry perspective extoling the virtues of highly skilled tradespeople in the industry reminding the students present on the day that they were the future of the industry and their opportunity to enter the industry could lead them to running their own business in the future. Geoff Gwilym, CEO ASA, provided a national perspective reminding the audience that the country needed at least 75,000 mechanical technicians to keep the national vehicle fleet running. Geoff provided some astounding figures relating to the job of a heavy vehicle technician including working on engines that weighed 9.5 tonnes and on trucks that when fully loaded with iron ore weighed in at 500 tonnes, not bad when each tyre can weigh 2.5 tonnes.
Kangan Institute was represented by Diane Semmens, General Manager Community, Youth and Health at Kangan Institute, who outlined the broad range of VET and higher skills programs that were available in the institute. Diane reinforced the notion that starting a VET program was often just the beginning of a career which could lead to a multitude of jobs or operating your own business in the future.