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Helping your apprentices jump start their trade career

The team at A Grade Auto Electrics are all about giving back to industry and supporting young apprentices.

By TAFE Queensland

The husband and wife team started in the industry over 20 years ago and have helped over a dozen apprentices into the auto electrical trade. While many of these apprentices have moved on to other employment, their apprenticeship has provided a solid foundation to build their trade careers.

Owner Mick Shergold originally started taking on apprentices due to the lack of qualified tradespeople in his industry and his desire to expand his business. The team now employ 11 staff, five of which are apprentices.

“Taking on apprentices was the obvious choice to help expand the business. I started partially out of need for more tradespeople, but I also wanted to give back to the industry,” Mick said.

“A lot of kids come straight from high school and are not aware of the broad scale opportunities that an apprenticeship can offer. Not all of the apprentices stay – some move on to different areas among the auto electric industry."

“One of the benefits of taking on apprentices is that you get to train them your way. They gain experience working on all our different types of vehicles, so they become very good at what we do."

“Even if I get a fully qualified tradesperson to come in, I still have to teach them what we do here and train them on the different types of trucks that we work on. It is definitely beneficial to have apprentices as they just naturally pick up this knowledge,” he said. 

A Grade Auto Electrics have a number of apprentices that are eligible for the Queensland Government’s free apprenticeships for under 25s funding, meaning they no longer have to pay each apprentice’s training fees. Mick said the incentive has definitely lightened the financial burden, and in the future will enable them to train more apprentices.

“Having the fee-free training assistance makes it easy for us to take on new apprentices – that’s one of the main advantages of the funding,” said Mick.

Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology (AUR30316) apprentice, Joel Rankin has been with A Grade Auto Electrics for three years now and said that coming from a strong automotive background growing up, pursuing an automotive electrical trade career was always on the cards.

“Dad was into racing, so I was brought up around cars. Once I left school, I knew that an automotive career was what I wanted, so I started to look for apprenticeships,” Joel said.

“The main benefit of taking on an apprenticeship is the fact that you’re guaranteed a job at the end of your training.”