Scholarship sends apprentice on trip of a lifetime Scholarship sends apprentice on trip of a lifetime
Hard work and dedication certainly paid off for first year apprentice mechanic Benjamin Ainis after winning a sought-after scholarship from Skilling Australia Foundation.
The 18-year-old light vehicle mechanic from Sydney was awarded the scholarship for an inter-state work experience opportunity, where he flew to Melbourne for five days to visit various Nissan dealerships.
The Skilling Australia Foundation awards scholarships for apprentices and trainees who have achieved academically and who have proven themselves and their ‘on-the-job’ capabilities.
Thanks to the scholarship, Benjamin got the chance to tour Nissan’s headquarters in Melbourne and meet and work alongside experienced Nissan staff.
Benjamin said he was thrilled to be awarded the scholarship and that it has allowed him to gain a better understanding of Nissan as well as the latest technologies the brand uses.
“The trip down to Melbourne was an outstanding learning experience. This was something that has given me the confidence to succeed in my apprenticeship and also provided me with a lot more knowledge that I could take away,” Benjamin said.
After spending time working with master technicians at Nissan’s headquarters in Dandenong and Fern Tree Gully Nissan where he got to tinker with powerful GTRs and perform sophisticated services, Benjamin spent a day visiting Kangan Automotive TAFE Institute.
“Seeing the Kangan Automotive TAFE Institute in Melbourne was a great experience. It was great to see because the NissMAP program has their own dedicated teacher and classroom for the duration of their apprenticeship.
“Also the way in which the TAFE was set out was great in that you had everything you could possibly need to learn the skills to become a mechanic. The amount of technology and brand new equipment they have makes the way in which apprentices learn easier and more efficient.”
To top off the trip, Benjamin got to spend an entire day working at Nissan Motorsport on the V8 Supercars. “It was great to witness all the preparation that goes into the cars and how everyone works together and gets everything ready before race-time.”
“I got to help one of the technicians connect the drive shaft and support frames under the car. We also installed the brakes, rotors and pads – it was a great day, I absolutely loved it,” he said.
Benjamin said the trip helped tie together everything he has learnt through the NissMAP program and his apprenticeship working at the Steve Jarvin Nissan dealership in Sydney.
His supervisor Ricky Orsina believes the trip to Melbourne provided Benjamin with an extraordinary experience to gain more knowledge about the Nissan brand and improve his skills and confidence.
“It’s benefited him in terms of boosting his passion for Nissan, providing an eye-opening experience as to what the job entails and all the specific goings-on with the brand,” Mr Orsina said.
“He has come back with so much confidence; just being able to visit Nissan HQ, the learning academy and to work with the master technicians there has given him an injection of passion into how he approaches his job.”