#NationalSkillsWeek #Apprenticeships #Traineeships #MoreThanYouKnow

Our final interview for National Skills Week 2017 is with Paul Harvey – Assistant GTO Manager with MTA (WA).

Q. What first got you interested in wanting to do an Apprenticeship?

My father was a mechanic, often working on cars at home on weekends.  I would watch and help him from time to time.  As time went by I would sneak into the shed and repair my bicycle using his tools.  This lead to fixing broken things as well as repairing friend’s bikes.  I loved mowing lawns and was interested to find out how things worked.

Q. When did you start your apprenticeship/which qualification?

I commenced a heavy duty mechanic apprenticeship in January 1977.

Q. How long were you working at your chosen trade?

I worked in the trade for 30 years diversifying from heavy duty to light vehicle mechanic and ran my own business for a few years, before working on Caterpillar equipment and then moving into the heavy mining industry.  Eventually I moved back into the heavy duty industry and spent many years at night school studying workshop management.  I worked my way up into a management position.

Q. Is there anything you would tell your younger self that you know now?

Learn as much as you can, give 100% in any position you can.  Learn about share investing as soon as possible.

Q. When did you start in your current role?

I moved into the Group Training Organisation in December 2006 as a field officer.  I am now the assistant GTO Manager.

Q. Why the transition to your current role?

After 30 years of working in the automotive industry I was asked by a field officer if I would like a position as a field officer.  After talking with him, I thought it would be a good challenge.  I would have to do further study and take a significant drop in pay for a period of time.  The rewards would be worth it in the long term.

Q. What’s a typical work week involve?

This is what makes the role interesting, you can never predict what is likely to happen, every day is different.  I could be writing reports, communicating with RTOs, market calls, assist industry with apprentice requirements, manage apprentices, apprentice interviews, workers compensation claims, safety audits, attending career expos, assessment visits, incident reports, dispute resolutions, pastoral care, mentoring & working in with my team of field officers

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

Dispute resolutions can be quite challenging at times.

Q. What about the greatest joy?

My greatest joy is dealing with a successful ex apprentice of mine whom is now running his own business or is a service manager that wants to employ an apprentice through our Group Training.  This is because they know how good we are.  Second to this would be congratulating an apprentice whom has completed their apprenticeship.

Q. What’s the one thing you learned as an apprentice that you transfer to every apprentice your work with?

Be honest, be a sponge and learn as much as you can, give 100% and respect the tradespeople.  All tradespeople have gone through the same issues you are going through.

Q. What would you like to achieve in your current role?

I would like to increase the numbers of our apprentices and host employers through the GTO to a level they have never been before.  We have a great system, owned by industry; it just needs to be embraced by industry.

Our thanks go to Paul and all the other participants for their time and willingness to participate in our interviews for #National Skills Week.

For further information about a career within the Automotive Industry you can contact http://www.mtawa.com.au