Axalta recently celebrated the graduation of the inaugural class of students from a vocational program in Australia.
The program is helping to address Australia’s shortage of skilled technicians for auto repair and refinish, with nearly 5,000 technicians needed to maintain industry stability.
In 2016, Axalta partnered with TAFE (Technical and Further Education) New South Wales after the closure of TAFE facilities at Mount Druitt. TAFE is Australia’s leading provider of vocational education and training courses.
Axalta welcomed students to its facility in nearby Riverstone, Western Sydney. Well-equipped with ultramodern paint technology and repair equipment, Axalta’s training center provides an ideal environment for technical trainers who instruct students on the latest application techniques, evolving digital technologies and repair processes.
As an automotive OEM partner, Axalta is well-positioned to share the latest requirements and developments for a wide range of vehicle makes, the company noted.
“At our Riverstone training center, we provide the materials, the venue and a trainer to work alongside the TAFE trainer,” said Paul Polverino, Axalta’s national training manager. “Our aim is to show these talented young people that they can have a rewarding career in refinish and auto repair.”
Around 90 percent of students who take the course through TAFE NSW and train at Axalta’s Riverstone facility continue with their studies. By contrast, the average dropout rate for all apprentices in Australia is around 50 percent.
“They receive hands-on training on modern technology and repair techniques, and can see how all of that turns into a well-paying job,” said Carl Tinsley, the autobody repair and surface coatings teacher at TAFE NSW, Campbelltown.