Nuts About Fixing Cars
DANIEL Postema is the first person to complete a new Nissan apprenticeship program.
The Noble Park 21-year-old has always been passionate about vehicles and worked hard to turn his hobby into a career.
“My mum’s said I’ve loved cars ever since I was a toddler,” Daniel said.
“I grew up with vehicles and played games with cars and always loved car movies.
“I’ve always been a rev-head I guess – or car enthusiast.”
When he finished year 12 at Wellington Secondary College in Mulgrave he asked his parents’ Dandenong mechanic if he could give him a hand to get some work experience.
“I went and worked at a local mechanic voluntarily to see and understand what the mechanics industry was like and whether I’d enjoy it,” he said.
Daniel recommended others follow his lead.
“Managers might be more likely to take you on board if you do volunteer,” he said.
“It can also be hard getting your foot in the door into a workplace.
“If you do a lot of hard work trying to get a job and you find out it isn’t what you like, it’s another headache.”
A few weeks later he successfully applied through Work Place Connect (WPC) Group for its new Nissan Mentored Apprenticeship Program (NISSMAP).
Daniel said the not-for-profit group training organisation saw his volunteer experience as “a very positive attitude towards the job that I wanted to do”.
He was among the first apprentices to start NISSMAP and this year was the first to finish.
The program offers an accelerated automotive apprenticeship over 2.8 years instead of the standard four.
Participants attend dedicated classes, working on Nissan components and receive a Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology upon completion.
NISSMAP also includes one-on-one mentoring to bridge the gap between school and the world of work.
“Hands-on, practical learning opportunities like a day at the V8 Supercar Races and tours outside of TAFE have really broadened my mind and showed me that there are so many opportunities out there,” Daniel said.
“I would like to look into more technical stuff, possibly further extend my training – learn more in-depth how things happen, how things work.
“I’ve started to understand how a lot of things work, not just within vehicles now but other stuff around the house.
“It’s a good hands-on skill.”
Daniel said having a career in his passion made it easy to go to work each day.
“You’ve got something to look forward to,” he said.
NISSMAP has helped Nissan secure an 84 per cent apprenticeship retention rate – higher than the 49 per cent industry average.
WPC Group general manager Andrew Sezonov said people often equated apprenticeships and traineeships with poor pay and menial work.
“These days, an automotive career is more about electronics and diagnostics, and less about manual labour,” he said.
This article first appeared in the Dandenong Journal: http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/journal/2015-01-19/daniel-is-nuts-about-fixing-cars/