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Queensland's first Fee-Free TAFE mechanics graduate

Queensland's first mechanics making use of the Federal and Queensland Governments' Fee-Free TAFE funding have graduated.

TAFE Queensland is celebrating the graduation of its first ever cohort of mechanics to complete the new Battery Electric Vehicle Inspection and Servicing Skill Set (AURSS00064) at the largest trade training facility in Southern Hemisphere, the TAFE Queensland Acacia Ridge campus.

Under the Federal and Queensland Governments’ Fee-Free TAFE funding initiative, nine local technicians graduated on 30 March 2023 having gained crucial skills to safely and effectively work on the vehicles of the future.

Qualified technicians from around the state including locals to the Brisbane, Ipswich, Emerald, and Mackay regions completed the intensive four-day course working on current model Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) purchased for training purposes, all under the expert tutelage of TAFE Queensland’s highly experienced automotive teachers.

TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech General Manager John Tucker said the innovative EV course was a product of TAFE Queensland’s constant engagement with industry and its mission to offer future-focussed training.

“There is a need for perpetual innovation in the training industry, especially for the automotive sector, and TAFE Queensland prides itself on working closely with industry to shape our training products and ensuring we provide forward-thinking training options,” Mr Tucker said.

“At TAFE Queensland, we know that preparing the industry for its transition to an EV future means skilling existing technicians around the state who are already starting to work on these vehicles,” he said.

Participants in the first class to use the landmark Fee-Free TAFE funding initiative to upskill in critical BEV skills at TAFE Queensland included Ali Abbas, Karalee business owner of Mobile Diagnostic Repairs, who saw the no-cost course as a great opportunity to future-proof his business.

“These vehicles are becoming more and more common so I wanted to upskill so I could confidently work on these vehicles and advertise that I’m doing so in order to boost my business,” Mr Abbas said.

Mr Abbas said that while the official certification was important, most importantly the TAFE Queensland teachers ensured that through their training every student graduated highly capable and profoundly confident in their newfound skills.

“Being certified is a good thing, but to really feel confident and comfortable that I am actually able to do this work and advertise it to my clients is even better,” Mr Abbas said.

Safety is always the highest priority for TAFE Queensland’s trade training, and with the local vehicle landscape changing this is more important than ever for Queensland’s mechanics and motorists. Mr Abbas confirmed that the new EV course had ensured all participants fully grasped the relevant safety precautions.

“Safety was definitely number one in the course, and using the technology properly. The teachers made sure all of the mechanics understood the new safety measures for these vehicles,” he said.