To lay the foundation for a skilled future workforce, incoming talent needs to nurtured and that is the key driver behind the success of PPG’s NSW Apprentice Scholarship program.
February 2019 marked another major milestone for the PPG NSW Apprentice Scholarship program as it welcomed its third intake of budding tradespeople. While PPG already provides close support to the TAFE system around the country, the NSW Apprentice Scholarship program goes one step further. For the past three years it has seen each TAFE college in the state and ACT nominate an apprentice spray painter to join the program at the start of their second year – and it doesn’t matter if they are from a PPG shop or not. The initiative is overseen by NSW Training Manager, Trevor Duke, and at any one time has as many as 16 apprentices (both second and third years) involved. Participants get a valuable package of SATA tools and extra training.
“These apprentices have been identified by their TAFE teachers as future leaders so they already have the attitude, aptitude and drive to succeed – we aim to help them build a long career in the industry," Duke said. "This intake was very lucky to get a brand new top-of-the-range SATAjet X 5500 spray gun, even before it was released on the local market. They also received a SATA Vision 2000 Air-fed Hood, overalls and a specially made PPG jacket and bag.”
While the tools certainly provide a helping hand, it’s the additional training that should make the biggest difference in the long run. “TAFE does a great job of training but this group gets more exposure to specialised areas earlier. It starts with the basics and then covers a massive array of topics, such as the makeup of an OEM finish, colour matching and blending techniques, best practice processes and the latest technology products. In the second year, we get into the nitty gritty of three-layer pearls and other tricky OEM finishes, as well as getting PPG’s MVP Business Solutions team involved. Then it becomes about helping them to understand the financial drivers behind running a profitable collision centre business.”
After apprentices finish the program, Trevor says, he still keeps in touch, getting feedback on their progress, as well as tips on how the initiative can be improved for future intakes. “This year’s group have been very good and, when they are finished, it should put them leaps and bounds ahead in their career.”
2019 intake of the PPG NSW Apprentice Scholarship program
Stephanie Binns – TAFE NSW – Campbelltown
Shannan Crabtree – TAFE NSW – Wollongong
Kyle Grima – TAFE Western (Dubbo)
Joshua McIntosh – Canberra Institute of Technology
Lachlan Summerfield – TAFE NSW – Wagga Wagga
Dominico Vu – TAFE NSW – Ultimo
Michael Yarnold – TAFE NSW – Glendale