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Apprentice Emma Whitfield and Joris

MTA100 Scholarship Apprentices graduating

The first of 30 apprentices funded by the MTA centenary scholarship are now completing their training and graduating as newly qualified auto technicians.

apprentice jeremy credit RWD Photography

MTA Chief Executive Craig Pomare says he has been very impressed by the calibre and commitment the scholarship winners, such as Jeremy Kartolo (above) have shown to their study and their skill development. “The feedback I’ve had from around the country tells me that we should be very proud of this next generation of auto technicians.” The scholarships, set up as part of the MTA centenary celebrations in 2017, paid each apprentice’s study fees along with a subsidy toward the employer’s costs.

Jeremy has servedhis apprenticeship at South Canterbury Toyota, Timaru. He is pretty pleased to have completed his apprenticeship in two years and 40 days. Like the other early finishing apprentices, he had already earned some credits toward the qualification thanks to a pre-trade course. “It still meant I had to do a lot of work at home, and every smoko. I didn’t have much of a life.” At the same time he also kept up with his piano practice, another of his passions. “I’m really happy to get this far; it means I get more opportunities at work, the jobs get bigger and they trust me more.” Jeremy’s keen to keep developing his repair and diagnostic skills. “I’m enjoying all the Toyota courses and will be doing two of these, and a Subaru course before the end of this year.” He’s looking forward to the day he’ll be recognised as a Toyota Master Technician.

apprentice emma whitfield

EMMA WHITFIELD, Rangiora Toyota

Service Manager Mike Winter says, “Emma’s early completion of her apprenticeship shows just what can be achieved when you knuckle down. I’d have another four of her.”

For Emma, finishing her apprenticeship just two years and seven months after she started meant she did a lot of her study in the first year in her lunch break and then she scheduled it for Friday nights. “I liked to stay in and get it done before the weekend.” But now she’s qualified she reckons she’ll have more time and money for her passion for hot rods. Emma is seen here receiving a small gift from Coast to Coast Region Chair Joris Sanders at a recent event in Christchurch. Coast to Coast funded five of the local MTA100 Scholarships.

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ZANE SIOLO Mid City Auto Repairs, Wellington

“My grandfather was a mechanic and I always had a passion for cars and worked on my own before my apprenticeship.” He says the MTA100 Scholarship has been a motivating factor in sticking to his study.

“It paid for my fees and I didn’t want to have to repay them if I didn’t finish,” he laughed. Now that’s he’s qualified he’s looking at just where his career may go. “At some point, I can see myself in other roles in the auto industry – maybe doing a MITO business course to help me get there.”

Apprentice Lothian

KYLE LOTHIAN Wayne Kirk Mitsubishi, Napier

Kyle’s boss Steve Baxter says, “He is a top technician. He’s done exceedingly well and is well on his way to becoming a Mitsubishi Master Technician. Kyle was one of the top three in our national skills competition this year.”

As for Kyle, he’s just keen to learn everything he can. “I have got a bit of a passion for Mitsubishi and all its new technology and safety systems. I’m down for doing Jeep training in Auckland soon, as well as the Mitsubishi courses.” As for his future? “This is a good workshop and team, but who knows, I may own one myself, one day.”