Since 1993, there has been a 94% increase in job postings for Automotive Technicians across Canada. As a motive power employer, you are well aware of the stats and the real difficulties in acquiring and retaining skilled employees. We have a desperate need to introduce youth to the Motive Power trades and its incredible career possibilities. We need to attract passionate people to our trade, those who will embrace the incoming technologies and seek to drive the industry into the future.
TestDrive was implemented in 2013 with a mission to ignite this passion in our youth for the Motive Power trades. High School students across Halifax Regional Centre for Education had the opportunity to apply to this brand new program, which would provide them with hands-on, real-life career experience, as well as 300 apprenticeable hours and 300 school credits. In its inaugural year, TestDrive connected 13 students to motive power employers.
Within 5 short years, TestDrive expanded to 4 Regional Centres for Education, providing over 3,000 interested students with information on the opportunities available with the Motive Power industry. TestDrive was able to place 97 students with local automotive trades businesses for the summer work program. Many of these students have gone on to enroll in the Pre-Apprenticeship program at NSCC and focus on a career in Motive Power.
Youth across the province are looking to dive into the world of service and repair. We have been able to connect with young people in both rural and urban areas that are seeking opportunities in the motive power industry. Some TestDrive participants discovered career paths that they would not have followed without the program:
“This [TestDrive] has created opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to create on my own. Working at Brinton’s has given me the opportunity to discover what part of the auto sector I want to go into.” – Raine Prime, 2017/18 TestDrive Student
Others have become advocates for TestDrive and the industry. Emma Haight, a 2016/17 TestDrive student has since participated in the interview process for new program entrants, recommended students to the program, and spoke at the 2018 TestDrive Closing Ceremony. Emma, who completed the Automotive Service and Repair program at NSCC Burridge Campus, is now working as an apprentice Automotive Service Technician.
Alex Debaie, a participant in last year’s TestDrive program, is now an apprentice with Steele Chevrolet. Through the TestDrive program, Alex has a jump start on his apprenticeable hours and was able to make valuable career connections.
TestDrive has provided Raine, Emma, and Alex with the knowledge and opportunities to follow an educational and career path within their own communities, in both rural and urban areas.
Connect with us this September to find out more about how you can connect with youth in your area. This is your opportunity to make an impact on your industry’s future and connect with the technicians of tomorrow. You can contribute to the program in a number of different ways. If you would like more information on participating in TestDrive, please contact Shannon Hall, Manager, Youth and Industry Engagement at [email protected]