Nissan Apprentices at the Sandown 500
With opportunities like working with the Nissan Motor Sport team at the V8 Supercar Races, it is no wonder that the Nissan Mentored Apprenticeship Program (NissMAP) is one of Australia’s most successful automotive apprenticeship programs.
Two of Nissan’s most dedicated apprentices were rewarded for their hard work recently. Sean Caton, an apprentice at Burwood Nissan, and Andrew Barry, an apprentice at Blackburn Nissan, both spent a weekend at the V8 Supercar Races at the Sandown 500.
A third-year apprentice, Andrew Barry really values the effort that goes into Nissan’s apprenticeship program, which includes a learning academy and NissMAP, combined with a TAFE course. He particularly enjoyed the hands-on learning experience offered by the weekend at the Sandown 500.
“I enjoyed the hands on experience with the V8 pit crews, meeting the drivers, and the welcome reception I received from everyone involved. We learnt how the teams operate, the effort and the teamwork that goes into such an event, as well as a basic understanding of work procedures in that environment,” said Andrew.
Second-year apprentice, Sean Caton was equally as excited at the opportunity to learn in an environment like the V8 Supercar Races. “The day was just fantastic. I learnt all about track conditions, helping the pit crew change the racecar tyres. I was mainly focused on the tread of the tyres, and how long they could keep going around the track, as well as the certain tyres that Nissan uses. It was a great learning experience for me,” said Sean.
It is rewarding, skills-focused on-the-job training opportunities, such as training at the Sandown 500, that have helped Nissan secure an apprenticeship retention rate of 84%, much higher than the industry average of just 49%.
In partnership with the WPC Group, the NissMAP initiative delivers value for Nissan’s dealer network and serves as a strategic initiative that addresses skill shortages and develops industry-leading Nissan trained technicians.
Commenced in July 2012, more than 50 apprentices are now taking part in the three-year NissMAP program, which includes trade school classes, one-on-one mentoring and hands-on experience. Over 35 Nissan dealerships are involved in the program, from Bairnsdale to Kingaroy, with more and more signing on as the benefits gained by participating dealerships becomes clear.