Bapcor Limited has established a graduate vocational program that has introduced 10 young people to a professional career in the automotive aftermarket industry.
Bapcor is Asia Pacific’s largest automotive aftermarket specialised company, which owns various automotive aftermarket trade and retail brands.
The two-year Bapcor Graduate Program aims to attract, support and develop new talent across all of its business divisions.
Each of the 10 candidates receives hands-on experience across four business division rotations, providing broad company exposure and experience. This also seeks to build on their university training with real-life industry experience, coupled with senior management guidance and support.
University graduates who are selected to join Bapcor have come from a variety of degree specialisations including design, finance, engineering, digital media, human resources and psychology, bringing a diverse level of skill sets to each of their Bapcor business division placements.
The Bapcor 2022 Graduate Program cohort of ten candidates is made up of six female and four male graduates.
Bapcor talent and capability manager, Glenn McDermott, is responsible for the successful introduction and actioning of this inaugural Bapcor Graduate Program.
He says it’s generated a strong level of interest from national university graduates.
“The Bapcor Graduate Program is an opportunity for us to give back to the Australian automotive aftermarket industry, while also building our company’s skills and talent pool,” said McDermott.
“This program also provides long-term career opportunities for talented and driven young people with a company that has outstanding career ascension opportunities given our size and constant business growth.
“We are very fluid and adaptive in our approach to our graduate program, ensuring that our candidates are working within their fields of business interest, which has proven to be very successful.”
According to the graduates, the program has been exceeding expectations, even for those who weren’t aware of the automotive aftermarket industry as a potential long term career path.
“My first design job placement was with a tyre dealer, so I was aware of the industry more from a performance accessories perspective as opposed to general automotive parts. The thing about this program is that you are not just doing a job, you are experiencing personal and professional growth,” explained Cindy. “This is my first professional job and I am learning more about myself as well as developing my skills as it progresses. The program structure has made the transition from university to full-time work relatively easy because we are supported by so many peers.”
In Will’s experience with the program, he said, “I worked at an Opposite Lock store, so I was able to go from the retail side of the Bapcor business while pursuing my university degree, to now find myself working with the people who run the company. This enables me to bring my automotive aftermarket shop floor experience and university training to Bapcor managerial and support roles.”
While James added, “The scale of the Bapcor business just floored me, I started my rotations with Burson Auto Parts in Purchasing and the volume of parts we were buying was just extraordinary. Even after half a year I am still in awe of the size and efficiency of the business. Now when friends ask about the company I work with, I list the companies that make up Bapcor and this always surprises them.”
McDermott explained that the relatively small number of people in the program compared to the size of the company ensures Bapcor can provide a strong level of personal and emotional support that graduates may need along the journey
“This links in strongly with the core Bapcor Value of ‘We give a Damn…’ which of course includes caring for our people. We aspire to ensure that each graduate feels valued and supported in each of their roles,” he said.
The Bapcor Graduate Program is currently recruiting new graduates to join its graduate program in February 2023. To find out more, please visit www.bapcor.com.au/graduates.