Prime Mover Magazine

Westar backs Victorian apprenticeship initiative

Commercial vehicle dealership, Westar Truck Centre Derrimut, has announced it will support a new initiative by government partner Apprenticeships Matter.

The program 'Apprenticeships for all Victorians' will aim to create an additional 50,000 Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships by next year.

Apprenticeships Matter currently provides end to end support for all Westar apprentices.

Last month Westar Derrmut apprentice James Greig won through to represent the Southern Region at the Heavy Vehicle Industry Association National Apprentice Challenge at the upcoming Brisbane Truck Show in May.

Although representing Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, Greig's qualifying score of 123 out of 141 earned him first place nationally. 

Auto Electrician, Kai Lamont, an apprentice also from Derrimut, scored 120 out of 141 to place 3rd nationally.

A total of 70 apprentices entered the competition from across Australia.

“We’re extremely proud of what Josh and James have achieved. It shows that the Westar apprenticeship program that we have been running for the last few years is really working well and paying dividends,” said Anthony Long, Westar Dealer Principal.

Although the majority of apprentices join straight after school, Westar, which is part of the Patterson Cheney Group, actively encourages all age groups to apply.

“We take the view that’s it’s never too late to enter the heavy truck industry,” said Patterson Cheney’s Technical Training Manager Chris Fauvrelle.

Fauvrelle encouraged anyone of any age, interested in a career at Westar, to apply directly.

“Jason Neto, a first year apprentice was 24 years old and had already completed a baker’s apprenticeship but then decided he had a passion for trucks. He took the chance to walk in off the street and we put him on as an apprentice.”

With a growing population of over 200,000 people, the City of Brimbank, according to Long, provides Westar with a wealth of potential employees.

"The success of our apprentice program is testament to the quality and passion of people in this area."

"As part of the Brimbank community the wide range of employment opportunities we offer is our way of giving something back.”

Last year, Joshua Borninkhof, a first-year apprentice at Westar Derrimut was one of three outstanding apprentices who joined delegates at the Australian Trucking Association’s 2018 Technology and Maintenance Conference (TMC), thanks to scholarships from Cummins South Pacific.

The scholarships are designed to recognise outstanding apprentices within the heavy vehicle industry.

Borninkhof was selected having demonstrated a great understanding of his trade and having the proven technical skills to move on to big things.

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