Fewer than half of applicants for automotive electrician jobs have the right qualifications, meaning up to 70 per cent of vacancies are not being filled.
Jobs department data shows there is a national shortage of automotive electricians, with just 30 per cent of vacancies filled in 2017, the lowest proportion since 2011.
Despite attracting an average of 4.8 applicants for each vacancy, employers say just 0.9 applicants are suitable.
The top reason an applicant is unsuitable is cited as them not having relevant qualifications.
It means jobseekers who are qualified and up-to-date with the modern technology used in workshops have a greater chance of finding the job they want.
Group training organisation WPC Group, automotive dealer Nissan and training provider TAFE NSW together are training automotive apprentices on state-of-the-art workshop equipment through its Nissan Mentored Apprenticeship Program (NISSMAP).
The program also accelerates their apprenticeship so they finish in 2.8 years instead of four years. Graduates receive a certificate III qualification and a Certified Nissan Technician certificate from Nissan Australia.
NSW NISSMAP and WPC Group manager Nathan Ellery says the apprentices learn on cutting-edge technology only accessible through partnerships with manufacturers.
“The recruitment and mentoring provided by WPC Group ensures the apprentices who are selected are most suitable for the industry and that they stay on track throughout their apprenticeship and see the full potential of a career in the rapidly advancing automotive industry,” he says.
Sydney City Nissan service manager Anthony Doldo says it has found “exceptional talent” through the program.
“The direct and relevant training provided is key to the success of our apprentices, giving them the strong foundations for Master Technician training,” he says.
“The future of this everchanging and challenging industry depends on the proper training from day one, ensuring a long-term solution to the skills shortage in Australia.” TAFE NSW head teacher Albert Grantham says apprentices have access to customised training that is supported by Nissan in a dedicated TAFE facility. “Quality-focused training enables workers to develop skills enabling them to perform their job in a confident, professional manner and get it right first time,” he says.
First-year apprentice Liam Stokes, who works at Maitland Nissan, says NISSMAP has given him an opportunity to obtain first-class training with one of the world’s largest vehicle companies.
“Living in a relatively rural area, it can be difficult to receive this kind of training,” Stokes says.
“I’m grateful to be a part of the program that will provide me with all the skills I will need and more to pursue a lifelong career in the automotive industry.”