Amidst stories of a skills shortage across Australia and a lack of training opportunities for skilled tradespeople, one company is making a stand to ensure it has proper trained technicians and tradespeople well into the future

Scania has announce it is offering 20 Australians a unique career path in 2022, that can take them directly from school or another occupation into fulfilling long-term employment at its company-owned workshops around the country.

Scania says that a four-year apprenticeship to become a qualified heavy truck and bus technician, or a dual apprenticeship adding in auto electrics, is undertaken in concert with TAFE, and students can fast-track their learning to complete in a shorter time-period if they wish.

Scania says it offers apprentices many benefits including 30 per cent more pay than the Award rate, plus access to the company employee bonus scheme. There is also on-the-job mentoring to ensure the training is progressing smoothly and to iron out any issues the company says.

Once qualified, a stable and rewarding job awaits as a heavy truck and bus technician, with access to state-of-the art tooling and working on the world’s most advanced trucks, buses and industrial and marine engines.

“Potential candidates with the right attitude and aptitude will find the well-established Scania apprenticeship course structured and stimulating. It will prepare them for a career working on advanced technology vehicles and engines,” says Sean Corby, regional executive manager for Scania in NSW and Victoria.

“Scania is leading the shift towards sustainable transport solutions, so there’s already the opportunity to work on heavy-duty hybrid-electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles could be on our roads by the time the class of 2022 qualifies,” he says. “The shift toward e-mobility and digitalisation of systems means our apprentices and technicians will be at the cutting edge of heavy-duty transport technology,” Sean said.

“The transport industry is in transition and is looking for smart candidates who are keen to learn a trade that will stand them in good stead throughout their working lives.

“Each year, Scania takes on around 20 first-year technician and parts apprentices at our company-owned capital city branches. In 2022 we’re opening a brand new branch at Eastern Creek in Sydney, increasing the demand for technician apprentices within the business,” he said.

“In 2022 we’re also looking for apprentices to join our parts interpreter teams; this is ideal for someone who wants to work in a workshop environment but may not want to be on the tools.

“Apprentices learn and earn while they work. They study at TAFE and also undertake significant in-house learning within the Scania training programme, the costs of which are all met by Scania. The in-house training builds knowledge and confidence of Scania-specific vehicle systems to provide foundation skills for servicing, repairing and diagnosing Scania vehicles’ technological systems,” Sean said.

Scania says its apprentices are enrolled in TAFE courses to deliver qualifications in either Certificate III Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR31116), or Certificate III Automotive Sales (AUR31016) or Certificate III Automotive Electrical Technology (AUR30316). These courses are defined in the Australian Qualification Training Framework and therefore deliver a consistent and transferrable qualification nationally.

Apprentices selecting a dual trade will aim to qualify in Certificate III Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR31116) and Certificate III Automotive Electrical Technology (AUR30316). Continuing study to a dual trade generally adds a further 18 months of study, but during the dual trade upskilling apprentices will be paid as a qualified technician and provided with the opportunity to continue to upskill and develop themselves.

“Apprentices are well looked after and are embraced as an integral part of the Scania workshop workforce, where we work hard to foster strong team environments,” says Michele Gellatly, people and culture director at Scania Australia.

“Our apprentice program has been exceptionally successful over many years at producing qualified technicians who are excellent team players, astute at diagnostics and committed to maintaining our customers’ uptime,” she says. “We currently have 59 apprentices across our network, ranging from first to fourth year, as well as around 14 that have qualified early.

“Australia is still suffering a skills shortage, which is good news for apprentices, as it means there will be plenty of opportunities for them to find work throughout their careers,” Michele said. “Scania is a highly regarded employer; our people are our greatest asset and together we create a safe and inclusive workplace.”

“Scania is a significant supplier of vehicles to mining operations across Australia, and we support our customers by sending technicians to work onsite. We’re also heavily involved in the building of these vehicles to individual mining customer specification at our company-owned branches, offering apprentices opportunities to work on some of the biggest and most powerful trucks in Australia,” Sean said.

“Scania is the only heavy-duty commercial vehicle brand to persist with V8 engine technology in Australia today,” Sean says. “Australians have a deep and abiding love affair with V8s, as drivers and as technicians, and our commitment to V8s means that there will be plenty of variants to work on, all the way up to the world’s most powerful on-road truck engine, the Scania 16.4-litre 770 hp V8 due to arrive here soon.”

“As a global company with 1600 workshops worldwide working on our engines, there are possibilities of travelling and working with Scania around the world. And your career path could take you anywhere within the Scania business as well. Many of Scania Australia’s senior managers began as apprentice technicians, and have risen through the ranks,” Michele said.