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EV apprentice supervisors charged up

Queensland's first accredited Electric Vehicle apprentice workplace supervisors have graduated from TAFE Queensland and are ready to put on apprentices in the new, crucial qualification.

A group of senior and lead technicians from some of Queensland’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) dealerships have become the first accredited EV apprentice supervisors in the state, following their completion of an industry-led, specially designed training program conducted at TAFE Queensland’s Acacia Ridge campus in May.

Existing technicians working at dealerships including Tesla and BYD, along with those from RACQ were joined by TAFE Queensland teachers from across the state in gaining their Certificate III in Automotive Electric Vehicle Technology (AUR32721) to enable them to supervise or teach apprentices undertaking the new qualification over the coming years.

Senior Technician at Tesla Mount Gravatt, Ziye Li, was among the Tesla employees upskilling to become qualified as a workplace supervisor for the first generation of EV apprentices, and said he was impressed with the facilities and equipment for EV training at TAFE Queensland.

Tesla Senior Technician Ziye Li completes EV training at TAFE Queensland's Acacia Ridge campus.

“It’s good to see a complete EV qualification because this is the only way we can train Tesla apprentices and a lot of other apprentices in the future. I’m really excited to come here and be part of the first class in Queensland to be qualified in this course,” Mr Li said.

“I like the training content at TAFE Queensland, there are a lot of EV parts ready for testing and I see they have the high-end testing tools we need,” he said.

TAFE Queensland Emerging Industries Business Manager Shawn O’Sullivan said the push towards offering a Queensland-first EV apprenticeship was just the beginning of a long journey towards skilling the local industry for its transition towards more EVs on the road.

“TAFE Queensland developed the EV apprenticeship and is proud to have been the first provider to offer this qualification in the state, and now we are working with the largest employers to facilitate their workplace training of a new generation of apprentices,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“Upskilling workplace supervisors and TAFE Queensland teachers from around the state is the first step in ensuring the broader industry is ready to gain EV skills in this apprenticeship for years to come,” he said.

TAFE Queensland automotive teacher Brett Sawyers trains apprentices on the Gold Coast in a range of qualifications already and is now able to deliver training in the latest addition to the Free Apprenticeships for Under 25s funding initiative – the EV apprenticeship.

“I’m the first of our Gold Coast teachers to become qualified in the new Certificate III, which will help us start delivering the training to apprentices in the region,” Mr Sawyers said.

“I think it’s beneficial because of the way the industry is moving to offer this apprenticeship across the state. It’ll be great to start training EV apprentices at the TAFE Queensland Ashmore campus on the Gold Coast.”

“We have a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) and two HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicles) at the Ashmore campus to use for training, so students don’t need to travel to Brisbane to complete this training,” he said.

TAFE Queensland automotive teachers from the Ipswich, Acacia Ridge, and Bundaberg campuses were in the first cohort to become qualified in this new qualification, and to fulfil its role as industry leader TAFE Queensland trained two teachers from the Motor Trades Association of Queensland as part of this cohort as well.