Posted on 01/02/18 in
Business Pulse explores the experiences of
bosses and their apprentices. This month, a Broome mechanic and
his apprentice tell how they drove hard to get their first break.
Broome Mechanical owner Wayne Bettesworth started out as an apprentice more than 40 years ago. Now he runs the show and passes on the nuts and bolts to the next generation. He’s trained about 20 apprentices over the course of his career.
How did you start out in this field?
I always liked cars and was into the speedway, so I saw it as a natural progression to be a mechanic. My dad wanted me to be a butcher and take on the business. I told him I wanted to be a mechanic as cars always broke down. Dad said people always eat meat. I applied for about 30 places for an apprenticeship and knocked on doors. I was offered an apprenticeship when I asked a business that wasn’t looking at the time for an apprentice.
What’s the benefit of hiring apprentices?
We are hiring local youth who live here in the Kimberley. It gives them employment and one day they may be able to take over the business.
How hard is it for them to adapt to your work practices when they have no experience?
It is very easy because you show them a couple of times how to do the task, leave them to do the job and don’t watch over them while they are doing it. Come back and check it after they have completed it and go back through the task again with them. Once you have done this, most apprentices are able to remember how to do it.
What’s the most important piece of advice you pass on?
Do the job properly, do it once and do it right. If unsure, ask the question as there is no such thing as a silly question.
What have they taught you?
To be tolerant of youth.
Apprentice mechanic Liam Barratt is two years into his Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology. He did some work experience for the business while at school and worked on weekends before landing the apprenticeship by asking for the job.
What do you do from day to day?
I can nearly do anything mechanical. I do repairs to vehicles, work on gearboxes, clutches, tyres, put in new windscreens. I get introduced to new tasks all the time. I do whatever my boss asks me to do. The only thing I have not done really is the electrical side but will learn that this year.
What do you enjoy about your training?
I like coming to work each day and learning something different all the time and having something to do every day.
What are your career aspirations?
My goal one day is to perhaps own my own workshop.
How important are your bosses?
They are very important as they keep pushing me in the right direction. If I am wrong, they will tell me, so they put me back on the right track again.
What’s the best piece of advice they’ve given you?
If you make a mistake or there is a fault then tell someone, don’t hide it.
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