MTA-GTS Project

Explanatory note:

This successful submission won $1.359 million from the Commonwealth Government’s National Training Infrastructure Fund towards a $2.7 million project for expansion of the Motor Trade Association Group Training Scheme training facilities.

Extracts from project documentation. Commercially sensitive material has been deleted.

Background / Context

The award-winning Motor Trade Association Group Training Scheme (MTA-GTS) is a not-for-profit, wholly-owned subsidiary of the Motor Trade Association of South Australia.

The Group Training Scheme has an envied reputation throughout Australia and a successful 26 year history of training young people for a range of jobs in the automotive industry and related trades.

Since its beginning in 1982 with 10 Motor mechanic apprentices, the GTS has graduated over 2000 apprentices to full-time employment as skilled, qualified tradespeople providing apprenticeships in 14 different automotive areas and traineeships in 22 different automotive areas.

Today the GTS employs over 550 South Australian apprentices and trainees in a wide variety of workplaces and roles including Motor Mechanics, Diesel Mechanics, Panel Beaters, Vehicle Painters, Auto Electricians, Engine Re-conditioners, Auto Parts Interpreters and Marine and Motor Cycle Mechanics.

It is a Nationally Registered Training Organisation (RTO) accredited to deliver VET in Schools Certificate I, all trainee vocations in Certificate II and Motor Mechanics (light vehicle), Panel Beating and Vehicle Painting in Certificate III.

The MTA-GTS directly employs its apprentices and trainees under Contracts of Training. As well as providing formal classroom and workshop training, it places them with Host Employers to provide a range of “real-life” experiences and practical skills development.

In 1996, with the help of a grant from the National Training Infrastructure Fund, the MTA-GTS bought and redeveloped its current state-of-the art training premises at Royal Park. It now seeks to expand these facilities to provide further training opportunities in high-demand areas.

MTA-GTS training differentiates itself from others in that its trainees and apprentices have real-world, real-life experiences through working on complete, operating vehicles and whole sub-systems, not just on individual components or specially prepared items. They also work on both late model and older vehicles in a genuine workshop environment. This gives them a total, realistic and relevant experience which helps build pride in themselves and their work.

MTA-GTS is uniquely positioned as a prime provider of automotive training, providing comprehensive facilities and courses in a centralised location, logistically convenient for its stakeholders.

It is at the forefront of training in this field, and abreast of the latest technologies.  The new facilities will ensure that MTA-GTS students are exposed to and trained in the latest automotive innovations.

A further differentiator is the level of pastoral care, back-up and support that the GTS provides to its participants, including where necessary, confidential counselling through an employee assistance program.

This approach strengthens its reputation as an automotive training centre of excellence delivering high quality training.

The MTA-GTS Performance Agreement specifies the proportion of apprentices and trainees that must be engaged from the identified equity group (comprising long-term unemployed, indigenous, non-English speaking background, disability and remote rural groups). During 2007-2008, the MTA-GTS recruited 227 apprentices/trainees. Of these 75 were from the equity group, equivalent to approximately 33% of the total number and well within compliance of the Performance Agreement.

MTA-GTS is committed to an equal opportunity policy of equality of opportunity in employment recognising this to be an integral part of sound management practice. MTA-GTS seeks to ensure that all personnel policies and practices, including selection criteria and conditions of employment, are non-discriminatory in the terms of relevant legislation.

MTA-GTS’s history is characterised by many individual and team achievements and recognitions of excellence. Its apprentices have had gold medallists in every Adelaide Regional Worldskills Competition and representation at national and international levels. MTA-GTS apprentices have won numerous awards through TAFE, Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers (IAME) and industry sponsored awards.

Description of Organisation

The Motor Trade Association Group Training Scheme (MTA-GTS) has been operating stably and successfully for the past 26 years as a not-for profit organisation in the highly professionalised and competitive fields of the automotive industry and trade training. The industry regards the MTA-GTS as an automotive training centre of excellence.

MTA-GTS has an effective governance and management structure with skilled and experienced personnel in the areas of management, planning, finance, human resources, marketing, administration and project management. The organisation and its management team have a proven track record in operating in a commercial environment following good business principles and practices.

The organisation’s budget ……. forecasts revenues of approximately $             and an end-of-year surplus of approx. $             . Revenues derive mainly from incoming salaries and wages from the MTA-GTS’s core business of training and placement of apprentices to host employers across a wide range of motor trades. A recent review of trade skills indicates an 8% increase in demand for MTA-GTS offerings.

MTA-GTS staff have initiated and delivered a range of projects on time and within budget, including the purchase and redevelopment of its current state-of-the art training premises in 1996. The current project seeks to expand those facilities to provide further training opportunities.

If necessary, the MTA-GTS can call on additional expertise and resources within its parent not-for-profit organisation, The Motor Trade Association of South Australia (MTA) of which it is a not-for-profit, wholly-owned subsidiary.

The MTA has been operating stably and successfully since its foundation in 1926 as the “Garage Proprietors & Petrol Retailers Association of South Australia”. The MTA’s current annual budget is a little over $             and forecasts a surplus of approximately $             . Approximately one third of its revenue is derived from memberships and subscriptions. Other main sources of revenue are from business partners and rental and investment income.

The two entities share the same effective and respected Board and Executive Director. An Audit Committee oversees governance and management of the Association’s finances which are formally audited by KPMG.

Attachment 5 provides the most recent audited financial statement for MTA-GTS …… and the Consolidated Financial Statement for MTA. Both show robust and stable organisations.

Skills Shortages

There are significant skills shortages in all automotive industry-related trades. This submission seeks funding primarily to help the MTA-GTS expand its training facilities to provide enhanced training opportunities in various motor trades to meet the growing skills development and workforce needs in South Australia’s automotive sector.

The Skill Shortage List for South Australia from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations shows state-wide shortages in the following trades:

Automotive Trades
4211-11   Motor Mechanic
4212-11   Automotive Electrician
4213-11   Panel Beater
4214-11   Vehicle Painter
4215-11   Vehicle Body Maker

Engineering Trades
4112-13   Metal Machinist (First Class)
4124-11   Sheetmetal Worker (First Class)

DEEWR research shows similar shortages in other States and Territories.

DEEWR research also indicates that Vehicle Trimmer (ASCO 4216-11) is in demand Australia wide.

The project will also contribute indirectly over the longer term to meeting some of the skills and workforce demands in related mining, defence, engineering, construction and manufacturing industries through cross-sector migration.

Many automotive trade skills are directly transferable to those sectors. Indeed, it is not uncommon for qualified motor tradespeople to move seamlessly into jobs in those other industries. This provides an opportunity to train and re-skill more people to help meet Australia’s workforce needs in those other expanding industries.

Thus the new project will facilitate growth in line with government policy to grow the automotive industry and will support growth in other industries that are heavily reliant on automotive technologies.

The proposed project will contribute directly to the Productivity Agenda Working Group of the Council of Australian Governments’ target of halving the proportion of Australians aged 20-64 without qualifications at Certificate III level and above between 2009 and 2020. The proposed new Trade Training courses relating to heavy vehicles are at Cert III level and it is planned that 12 students and 30 apprentices will gain that qualification each year when fully implemented, with the first graduates in 2011.