Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) and Mildura Truck Centre have partnered to support Sunraysia Institute of TAFE (SuniTAFE) in its mission to increase the uptake of truck technician training.
With continued increasing domestic and global demand for truck technicians, quality vocational training from Australia’s technical and further education (TAFE) institutions are playing a key role in upskilling the next generation of workers for this essential task.
IAL has estimated that 19,000 trained technicians are needed to support local industry, with fault diagnosis in particular demand. Also, the requirement for skilled truck technicians is reflected in Australia's employment statistics, with automotive technicians defined as one of the top employing occupations.
In a bid to contribute to the direct experience of service technicians in regional Victoria, IAL and Mildura Truck Centre have announced the donation of a new model F Series Isuzu truck to SuniTAFE.
Represented by IAL National Service Manager Brett Stewart and Mildura Truck Centre Director Rodney Leake, the companies jointly delivered the medium-duty FVD 165-260 Auto to the remodelled SuniTAFE workshop for its heavy automotive course at the Mildura campus.
Speaking at the handover, Leake explained that for the past 69 years Mildura Truck Centre has been dedicated to the education and upskilling of the next generation of skilled truck technicians, and is proud to have been able to train over 100 apprentices over the years.
“We have been working with SuniTAFE for a long time in regard to apprentice training, and over the years Mildura Truck Centre and Isuzu have supported the institute’s automotive programs with industry knowledge and relevant truck products,” said Leake.
SuniTAFE’s heavy automotive course was initially offered only at the Swan Hill campus, but it was recently expanded to the Mildura campus, allowing Mildura-based students to train locally.
On behalf of IAL, Stewart commented on the donation to SuniTAFE, saying the company was happy to be able to contribute a current model FVD 165-260 to SuniTAFE, helping them to provide quality education for their heavy automotive students.
“The new facility at their Mildura campus is a great training ground for the next generation of apprentices and technicians, and we’re pleased to be able to help support the professional development of these students where we can,” said Stewart.
“Providing learning opportunities for automotive technicians to gain pertinent, hands-on industry experience, working on a real truck with the latest truck tech is important, especially in the face of a skilled truck tech shortage in the industry," he said.
SuniTAFE’s heavy automotive teacher, Peter McLean, echoed these sentiments, saying that interest in the new Mildura facility and the updated heavy automotive program has been strong.
“Apprentices are walking through the door, and with the new truck we expect them to keep coming,” said McLean.
“We’re currently at 45 apprentices and growing.
“We greatly appreciate the donation from Mildura Truck Centre and Isuzu Trucks, along with all the other businesses that have contributed to the program.
“It allows the apprentices to learn the latest technologies, using machinery that is currently available on the market, which they will no-doubt be working on in a real-life sense in the future.”
(Image L-R: IAL National Service Manager, Brett Stewart, and SuniTAFE CEO, Geoff Dea.)
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