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First Nations Trainee Making Tracks in the Automotive Industry

First Nations Trainee Making Tracks in the Automotive Industry

First Nations Trainee Making Tracks in the Automotive Industry

Proud First Nations man, William Marks, worked in retail for almost 6 years before taking on a traineeship at Burson Auto Parts, Horsham store. With no prior experience working in the automotive industry, William is loving his traineeship and his newfound passion for the industry.

“I saw the opportunity and thought to myself, why not try something new,” said William.

“It was daunting at first because I had no idea about cars, but it only took a few months before I felt confident and could help people with car related customer service enquiries,” he added.

AFL SportsReady partnered with Burson earlier this year and currently have 10 trainees working in their stores nationally. Given the success of the first intake, a second recruitment drive has commenced with a further 13 people given the opportunity to enter the workforce through the traineeship program. Both Burson and AFL SportsReady will continue to offer traineeship opportunities in the future with multiple planned intakes per year.

“I live in Horsham which is a rural town so there aren’t too many great job opportunities out here so something like this is pretty amazing because you get to work in the store, learn new skills, get hands on experience, get a nationally recognised qualification in the form of a Certificate III Automotive Sales – Parts Interpreter whilst also earning an income.

I feel like this is one of the best opportunities I have ever taken up.”

William’s role as an Automotive Sales – Parts Interpreter, sees him assist customers in finding the right car parts while also taking on administration and warehouse tasks like stocktake.

“I started off nervous and shy but now I have developed solid customer service skills and feel pretty positive in every part of this role. I actually have discovered a newfound appreciation and passion for the automotive industry and really picture myself staying in this field in my future.”

One of William’s favourite parts about coming to work is the people he works with at the store.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the people I work with. Every day we work hard but we have a laugh. There is a real feeling of camaraderie here. We have each other’s backs, we support each other, we help each other. Plus, my boss Darran is a legend.”

William believes this traineeship opportunity has opened his eyes to a world he didn’t know much about and has given him a true industry career pathway.

“The most important part about the traineeship is the skills you learn. This is why I believe more people need to know about the program because the skills you gain are essential. I can’t tell you how much I have grown and how much I have learnt in just a few short months. I am pretty proud of myself and I’m excited to see where this traineeship will take me.

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DATE: 22nd of June 2022

AUTHOR: Marissa Pagliarello

IMAGE: William Marks