Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics has launched its Heavy Vehicle Mechanic Apprenticeship Program, with the aim of inspiring new talent and setting the business in good stead for the future.
With a fleet of around 550 trucks and 1000 trailers across its 23 depots, a good team of mechanics is pivotal to keeping it all moving.
Discussions for the current apprenticeship began about 18 months ago. Over that time, ScottsRL has grown its number of apprentices from one to 13, in a pool of around 60 diesel mechanics. And there are hopes even more apprentices will become part of the business in the near future.
Lachlan Muir was one of the most recent apprentices to join the business. He finished Year 12 in 2018 and had been working in similar mechanical industries, before joining the Morningside workshop in Brisbane.
ScottsRL has six workshops, located at the Laverton, Ormeau, Morningside, Prestons, Erskine Park and Direk depots – and now there are apprentice diesel mechanics at every one of these sites.
As part of the apprentices’ development, ScottsRL has engaged with two key partners MIGAS and AI Group, which source and employ program participants. TAFE is the Registered Training Provider that then delivers the training. The program provides tailored technical training and employability skills, that aim to instil confidence, and increase communication and team working skills; with apprentices undertaking a four-year nationally recognised qualification.
Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics Training Coordinator Brenton Veale explained how the program came to be. “We’ve always had apprentices in the business but our key focus was not on the mentoring and developing of our future workforce. With this change in direction our staff retention and morale has shifted in a positive direction” he said.
“It’s a difficult industry to employ for. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of young people who want to become diesel mechanics, but we’re trying to change that mindset. Diesel mechanics are a dying breed, so we have to create our own workforce. If we don’t invest in our future, we will never get to the next level – the skillsets will disappear and the knowledge will vanish, so these sorts of programs are pivotal to our business.”
Looking ahead, ScottsRL plans to attend school apprenticeship days too, with the aim of attracting more career focused apprentices into the business.