Leigh’s love of cars fast-tracked
photo: Leigh Johnson-Crowley and Matthew Rowland perform a diagnostics check on a Nissan at The Big Garage.
Bairnsdale Advertiser, May 2015
Coming from a family of car fanatics, Leigh Johnson-Crowley was bound to end up working with cars in some capacity. “I’ve been around cars my whole life.” Johnson-Crowley said. In January, Leigh was presented with a rare opportunity when he began a fast-track apprenticeship with The Big Garage, taking a special course emphasizing computer related maintenance on Nissan vehicles.
The course runs for nearly three years, but by the end of it Crowley will be years ahead of others his age. “By putting Leigh through this process he probably comes out at what a normal tech would after six years.” Matthew Rowland, service manager at The Big Garage, said. “The skill-set level is also higher and above that of a normal technician.” At the end of the apprenticeship, Leigh will be a certified Nissan technician, not only at The Big Garage, but also for Nissan globally. It will have him on the path to becoming a master technician.
The course is very concentrated and only nine others from across Australia are in Leigh’s class. It is also a very expensive course, making it a big commitment for the company and the star apprentice. Mr Rowland is supervising Leigh’s apprenticeship and spoke highly of him for his strong work ethic, potential and value to the company.
“We’ve found that Leigh is very dedicated to his work, very passionate about vehicles and we envision that he has a bright career, which is why he has won that scholarship to take the course.” Mr Rowland said. “We see a lot of potential in Leigh and we feel like he is going to be a great asset to the company in three years’ time.”
It’s not all work for Leigh, however, who has been participating in motor sports his entire life. He has raced karts all across Australia, finding a great deal of success, including a Bairnsdale karting championship. “He’s been born and bred in the motor industry.” Mr Rowland said.
The Big Garage has employed Leigh through WPC Group in the Nissan Mentored Apprenticeship Program (NISSMAP). Leigh is streets ahead in his training working towards a full qualification as a certified Nissan technician.