By: Fabian Cotter

EXCLUSIVE: THE FIRST GROUP of students of a unique tailored bus apprenticeship scheme has finished final training this week, according to the Victorian-based Automotive Centre of Excellence.

Class of 2018! (L-R) Teachers Liam Stamatov, Damian Flynn; apprentices Carl Neumaier, Matthew Scrambler, Daniel Goode, Aaron Wiffin, William Ulrich, Patrick Keiller, Dean Waddell; teachers David Taylor and Michael Borg.

Having started their training programme in 2016, as part of a customised apprenticeship scheme specifically tailored to the Australian bus industry, the Ventura Bus Lines participants are a true success story, say organisers.

Kangan Institute's acting CEO Rowena Beale, said: "Kangan Institute's Automotive Centre of Excellence is committed to providing the automotive industry with customised training through our key client programme."

"Kangan Institute is proud to partner with Ventura Bus [Lines] to develop and deliver a successful apprenticeship programme tailored for the bus industry.

"This bus apprenticeship programme is the first of its kind and has since resulted in increased retention rates and appropriate skills for the industry," she explained. 

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Manager of commercial vehicle and engine technology Gavin Cribb, at the Automotive Centre of Excellence, Bendigo TAFE, says he was delighted by the programme’s success.

"In 2014-15 Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence began collaborating with Ventura Bus Lines as there was no specific ‘bus apprenticeship’ for the industry," he explained.

"After various draft programmes [and] pilots were tabled, a structured programme evolved.

"Last week we had our ‘key client’ (bus) group in for their final block of training. The programme has been a great success with increased retention rates and appropriate skills for the industry," he said.

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With more than 30,000 enrolments each year, Kangan Institute is a major training provider for the automotive, health and nursing sectors and indigenous education, it states.

It also has, "…a strong presence in a range of industries, such as fashion, business, as well as justice and legal."

"As one of the state's largest providers of apprenticeships and traineeship training" it has strong relationships with many businesses and caters for students seeking industry-relevant training in a range of disciplines and on-site training options to suit the unique needs of the individual learner or organisation, it states.

Courses range from basic certificate to diploma and advanced diploma levels, with pathways to more than 25 university degrees. Its Skills Recognition programme assesses prior knowledge and experience, awarding its students with the credits or qualifications to match their existing skills, it explains.

With more than 80 years of experience in vocational education and training Kangan is, "…a flexible, innovative and dynamic place of learning with a rich multicultural atmosphere. Our programs are delivered across five campuses in Broadmeadows, Docklands, Essendon, Moonee Ponds and Richmond."

It also offers a VicRoads Bus Tester Technical Examiner one-day course. This course covers the accreditation component for participants to be aware of and understand their responsibilities in accordance to the Bus Safety Act 2009 (Vic). It aims to provide information for the safe operation of bus services, according to the organisation.

It also covers the Bus Technical Inspection component from the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM).

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