Australia's first apprenticeship scheme for EWP mechanics
By Maria Hadlow14 June 2012
Australia's EWPA (Elevating Work Platform Association) has developed an apprenticeship designed specifically for elevating work platform mechanics. It is expected to be available for the beginning of 2013.
The course has been 18 months in development and EWPA has been working with the newly formed Auto Skills Australia (ASA). The draft apprenticeship qualification is now in its final stages of approval with the ASA and the EWPA anticipating its finalisation by the end of this year.
The access industry driven training program arose from industry demand for trained and competent persons responsible for EWP maintenance.
EWPA New South Wales president, John Glover said, "Currently there are three or four relevant mechanical qualifications, but none specific to EWPs."
Mr Glover, who is also the national service manager for Force Access has been working on the draft apprenticeship program with EWPA training director, Phil Middleton and EWPA executive director, Phil Newby.
Mr Glover said, "Mechanics training to service EWPs can currently undertake training as a plant mechanic; a mechanical fitter; heavy off highway vehicles mechanic; or light vehicle mechanic.
"Elevating work platforms are highly specialised pieces of equipment and being classified as high risk equipment, include many safety features which require expert maintenance knowledge.
"It is very clear our industry needs a more focused apprenticeship that is relevant and specific to EWPs."
The draft apprenticeship programme, Certificate III Automotive Technology - Elevating Work Platforms, draws on training or learning modules relevant to EWPs from existing mechanical qualifications.
"The EWPA would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at the ASA with a special thank you to Stephen Wrathall for taking on the challenge of creating an apprenticeship for our industry," sais Mr Glover.
"This means our industry specific EWP apprenticeship programme will attract much welcomed government funding, making it so much more affordable for our industry to train and employ fully qualified EWP mechanics."
The new apprenticeship is part of the ongoing development of careers in hire implemented by the Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA).
"Being able to offer an apprenticeship to school leavers or adult learners helps to make our industry more attractive and is a huge step forward for our careers in hire programme," Mr Glover said.
The EWPA is the main representative body of the access industry in Australia and works on improving safety and service standards throughout Australia. Auto Skills Australia is the body responsible for the development and maintenance of nationally accredited automotive training qualifications in Australia.