Kangan Institute has conducted an open day for secondary school career advisors to promote career opportunities within the body repair industry. Held at the Automotive Centre of Excellence in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne, the event was supported by companies including AMA Group, 3M, Ford, and PPG, who supplied information about career opportunities within their organisations.
Around 20 career advisors from various schools attended the 2.5-hour session, which included demonstrations of the body division’s three main categories: panel repair and fabrication, electronic measuring, and spray painting. Participants were able to sample spray painting using a virtual reality system set up in the preparation area.
In addition to body and painting careers, the advisors were alerted to other opportunities these trade jobs could lead to, such as sales, management and teaching roles.
The event was conceived by Michael Mavrikakis, Education Manager, Automotive at Kangan, who said the goal was to reach potential students at the earliest opportunity.
“We really need to reinvigorate the sector and at the start of 2022, I thought I need to do something this year,” Mavrikakis told BodyShop News. “Our trade isn’t well known to a lot of people, and I always thought that if career advisors in the secondary colleges had a better understanding of what the body trades are about, they could better advise students at a very early stage. So, being able to educate the educator at that first point of contact was an opportunity to create a greater influx of younger people into the industry.
“There is a perception that our trade is dirty or less than other trades such as ‘chippies’, so I wanted the advisors to actually walk the space and see how clean the body shop environment is today.
“It was a great turnout – the career advisors are now thinking body repair is a viable option for their young people,” Mavrikakis added.