IT’S never too early to start looking for a job.
Work experience at school or holiday jobs can be one of the best ways to try before you settle on something you really like.
Local students from South Gippsland secondary colleges considering a career in the automotive industry had a taste of what it might be like at a special ‘Auto Taster’ day at the new Automotive Trade Training Skills Centre at the Education Precinct in Leongatha last Wednesday.
The event was staged thanks to a partnership between South Gippsland Bass Coast Local Learning & Employment Network (SGBCLLEN), South Gippsland Trade Skills Alliance (SGTSA), Federation Training, JSL Light Engine Repairs, Leongatha Secondary College, and Korumburra Secondary College.
The SGBCLLEN is continuing to develop partnerships between schools, SGTSA and industry that offer opportunities for Year 8 and 9 students to make a start on exploring their future career options.
Karena Kerr SGBCLLEN Partnership Broker said: “It is never too early for students to start exploring and learning about careers.
“You’re never too young to start thinking about what you are interested in and how that can lead into a career pathway,” she said.
At the new Automotive Trade Training Skills Centre students participated in “hands on” activities using the new state of the art equipment supported by Federation Training staff.
And there wasn’t a dirty hand in sight with much of what goes on in the automotive sector these days driven by a computer rather than a torque wrench.
During the morning, automotive industry members had the opportunity to tour the new facility and inspect the impressive range of new tools and equipment.
One of the features of the new facility is the capacity to provide training in heavy automotive and agricultural equipment.
Unique and innovative videoconferencing technology will provide the opportunity for students to access some of their lessons from their school locations.
During lunch, mentors from local automotive businesses spoke with students about their careers and experiences, giving a broader understanding of possible pathways that exist in this vocational area.
After lunch, Colin Graham, farm liaison officer with Murray Goulburn, hosted students at the transport and logistics office in Leongatha.
Students learnt about the logistical side of the transportation of milk and how technology has changed the day to day operation of this sector. Colin spoke about his pathway from the mining industry to working within food production and how important it is to develop transferable skills.
The Automotive Industry is a major employer in the region and plays a critical role in servicing major manufacturing, agricultural and food producers.
Taster Days such as this are crucial for young people to experience and learn about career pathways within skill shortage areas.

Thank you
SGBCLLEN would like to thank the following businesses for their continued support of the Automotive Taster program as this program is only successful due to the support and commitment of these local dedicated businesses: JSL Light Engines, Knights Leongatha, Evans Petroleum, Murray Goulburn, Westaway Ford, Federation Training, South Gippsland Shire Council, Marriotts MPE, Riseley’s Transport and MAS.
If you would like more information on the Automotive Taster, contact SGBCLLEN on 5662 5500.