Next auto generation

19 May 2022

During Australia’s most acute labour shortage in living memory 248 apprentices have entered the automotive workforce, thanks to my mates at VACC and TACC.

No small feat there.

I was honoured to be a part of it. I hosted the invitation-only gala event in Melbourne – alongside the one and only Kevin Sheedy – to recognise graduating apprentices and trainees of the VACC Automotive Apprenticeships group scheme. TACC Automotive Apprenticeships award winners flew in for the event too.

Eight award winners received recognition for outstanding achievements during their short automotive careers.

The winner of VACC Apprentice of the Year was Daniel Balliro. Daniel has completed a Certificate III in Light Vehicle. Host business: Northern Motor Group in Bundoora.

The winner of TACC Apprentice of the Year was Will Dodge. Will has completed a Certificate III in Light Vehicle. Host business: Hobart Mitsubishi.

The Outstanding 1st Year Apprentice award went to Hayden Smith, who completed a Certificate III in Automotive Sales (Parts Interpreter). Host business: Warragul City Motors.

The winner of the Outstanding 2nd Year Apprentice was Aiden Evans who is currently completing a Certificate III in Light Vehicle. Host business: Mornington Mitsubishi and Isuzu Ute.

Outstanding 3rd Year Apprentice went to Samuel Lee who is currently completing a Certificate III in Light Vehicle. Host business: Princi Motors in Silvan.

The winner of the Outstanding Trainee of the Year was Joel Williams (Certificate II in Automotive Services). Host business: Aldek Automotive Services in Croydon South.

The VACC Progressive Excellence Award was won by Jack Black (Certificate III in Light Vehicle). Host business: Kevin Dennis Motors in Deer Park.

The winner of the TACC Progressive Excellence Award was Sam Mitchell, who is currently completing a Certificate III in Light Vehicle. Host business: Jackmans Garage in Moonah.

Training and placing skilled workers into the automotive industry is amongst the most important work that the Chamber does.

The automotive industry nationwide is struggling to fill the 32,000 positions currently available. VACC Automotive Apprenticeships – led by Nigel Muller – is Australia’s largest automotive apprenticeship provider.

Alongside this Scheme, VACC has also full steam ahead with its Accelerating Women into Automotive program. Part of the government's $5 million Women in Trades Fund, Accelerating Women into Automotive is a venture from VACC, Women in Automotive and the Victorian Department of Education and Training that supports and inspires young women interested in the industry. During the four-week program, participants receive training at a Registered Training Provider and experience fun and varied work placements. Activities aim to equip participants with the information and insight needed to make an informed decision about starting an automotive career, and if they do decide it's a good fit – VACC facilitators will help them secure an apprenticeship and provide ongoing support. Sounds good to me!

The VACC team does a magnificent job playing its part in supporting the automotive industry with the next generation of skilled workers across most sectors of the industry.

So, if you, or someone you know, is keen to kick-start a career in automotive, your first pit stop should be

The world is your oyster.

See ya on the road folks!

Words: VACC ambassador Shane Jacobson.

Want to hear more from Shane? Catch him – along with co-hosts Greg Rust and VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym – on THE GRILLE podcast each month. There'll be auto news and views, industry insights and trends, special guests, and plenty of laughs along the way. Visit: 

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