• Networking
    iCar Aus

    - article submitted by Mark Czvitkovitis - iCar

    It is hard to believe that it is May already! Planning for 2018 should be well under way and if it isn’t, now is the time to begin and get back on track. As always the news and changes keep coming and the industry adjusts, realigns and continues along its future path.

    With Autocare 2018 now over and the amount of information provided, it would be hard to believe that collision repairers who attended did not come away better prepared for the future. With topics that covered exotic materials, advanced driving systems, refinish technology, consolidation and employment issues, every major topic that the industry is experiencing was covered over the 2 days of the conference.  

    Looking forward there are a number of topics that continue to be at the forefront of what is needed to remain profitable and survive into the future. The recruitment of new technicians into the industry and the ongoing development of our current technicians continue to be major concerns. Last week I met a young apprentice refinisher who after completing a certificate II in refinishing at South West Sydney Institute went out looking for an apprenticeship in the local area. After six months of no success in finding a position, yes six months, this young technician was finally offered an apprenticeship at a careers night, which was gratefully accepted.

    In the two years since, this young technician in their second year entered the NSW World Skills trials, where in the words of the refinish teacher – smashed it! Remember that it is mostly third and fourth year apprentices who compete and this young apprentice was a second year.

    So, in this day and age of lack of technicians entering the profession and a young person with a passion tries for six months to land an apprenticeship with little success and then enters World Skills trials and wins, why were they not offered a job?

    Are our businesses too cynical, too lazy or not willing to give a young person a go because of previous experiences. Well, I am so pleased that this young technician is in our trade, Maxine Colligan is a young technician on the way forward with a passion and dedication to the trade and I truly feel that the accolades will continue for her as she progresses. She is an exemplary young person with a talent and maturity well beyond her years.
    I am still trying to understand why she could not get an apprenticeship, especially when the industry is so desperately seeking new technicians! Are we so blind that a person who shows some initiative or drive to better themselves is seen as a threat? Is that why there is a reluctance to train because having better prepared technicians may conflict with what has been learnt and is potentially conflict with repair work currently being done across the country?
    Every industry is investing in training, due to the impact technology is having across the globe, this is disruption. Nevertheless, the challenge is there for everyone to take up and understand that investing in your people will be the best investment your business will have.

    If you were at Autocare 2018, I believe that the information provided across the 2 days will in some way, shape or form benefit your business. By taking little steps along the way and improving process steps continuously, improvements will come and with a well-trained workforce, many improvements will come from their input collectively.Who knows the next person that comes to your door wanting a position is coming there because your business is seen to be a progressive one.

    *The contents of and any opinions contained in this article may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capricorn Society Ltd.