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MTA-ATNZ apprenticeship scheme update

MTA's partnership with ATNZ (Apprentice Training New Zealand) is well under way; recruiting and training the next generation of the motor trade workforce.

atnz car pro apprentice and rick
New Carpro apprentice Jarrett Rameka (left), his boss Lee Burridge and ATNZ field rep Rick Oliver (far right) often catch up together, and with their MITO rep, to discuss progress and talk through training progress.

Jarrett is CarPro Penrose's 15th apprentice. But this time, things are being done a bit differently. . Trainee spray painter Jarrett Rameka was recruited by ATNZ (Apprentice Training New Zealand) as part of the MTA/ATNZ Group Apprenticeship Scheme. CarPro provides the practical supervision but payroll and employment matters are taken care of by ATNZ. For CarPro owner Lee Burridge, it’s been an easy ride.

“Finding an apprentice can take a lot of time. Advertising can either get you no one, or you have to sort through a lot of names and try to make the right choice. If you make the wrong one, it can be very difficult to end the situation.”

Five weeks into the apprenticeship, Lee says the new apprentice is working out well. “Jarrett may not technically be my employee, but he’s definitely part of the team.”

To make it easier for members to take on apprentices, MTA developed the partnership with ATNZ. Through the scheme, the MTA member provides a safe work site, the necessary on-the-job supervision, and pays ATNZ an hourly rate for the apprentice’s time. Everything else is ATNZ’s responsibility, including all pay entitlements, KiwiSaver and training costs.

Lee says, “It costs a little more than the annual apprentice salary but it saves me time in recruitment. You know the person has already been screened, and if for some reason it doesn’t work out, ATNZ takes care of it.”

Like many members, Lee finds the legalities around staff management daunting and is pleased this part of apprenticeship training is managed by ATNZ. Lee also believes that ATNZ’s supervision and his regular meetings with Jarrett and MITO, combined with ATNZ’s supervision, mean he’s getting much better information on his apprentice’s progress.

Keen to learn

Jarrett Rameka seems pleased to be given the chance to get started. “I was at Manukau Institute of Training last year doing a pre-trades auto refinishing course when ATNZ interviewed for apprentices.” At 31, he’s a bit of a late starter. He has a Bachelor of Information Technology, but it wasn’t until he was doing some part-time work helping paint industrial machinery that he had his ‘lightbulb moment’. “I really enjoyed it.” He’s not into mechanics but has always loved cars - so moving into auto spray painting was a logical move.

“I’m loving it here. It’s different to my part time job. You have to pay far more attention to detail working on cars, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist so that just makes it more interesting.”

MTA leading the way

MTA President Dave Harris (top photo) has also taken on an apprentice through the scheme. Liam Coleman started in March and is enjoying his new job.

Dave Harris says, “With MTA trialling this in Auckland and Waikato, I thought it was an opportunity to try things in a new way. It is always difficult in a busy business to fully mentor and support young staff, particularly when managers and owners have multiple roles and are often not on the site. It can lead to some apprentices falling behind on their paperwork, feeling neglected and possibly losing heart. By using the ATNZ scheme, I am confident I will have professionals looking out for Liam, giving him lots of support and encouragement. This will give him the best opportunity not only to complete but also to enjoy his apprenticeship. I believe this will pay dividends for Liam, our company and the industry once he is qualified.”