BMW Group Australia, in partnership with NextGen Jobs, has launched the future of automotive training – the BMW #NextTech Mentored Apprenticeship Program.
The program was launched at a marquee event at Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence to an audience of industry practitioners, automotive training professionals, government leaders and industry stakeholders. It brings together three acknowledged industry leaders – BMW Group Australia, NextGen Jobs, Australia’s newest group training organisation, and the Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence – to deliver a cutting-edge apprenticeship experience customised to BMW Group vehicles.
The program provides apprentices with dedicated BMW training, one-on-one mentoring and accelerated pathways to complete their Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology within three years with an option to extend into a dual qualification as an automotive electrician and to commence BMW registered technician training.
“The BMW #NextTech Mentored Apprenticeship Program will play an integral role in ensuring future BMW Group apprentices develop the diagnostic skills and techniques required to stay at the forefront of a very rapidly evolving automotive industry,” said Dr Reiner Meierbeck, General Manager of Aftersales for BMW Group Australia. “It is also progressive in enabling apprentices to stay well ahead of the trends of increasing specialisation and rapid technological advancement. This includes electrification – a critical element in BMW’s future.”
The inaugural intake of the BMW #NextTech Mentored Apprenticeship Program has already commenced, with 38 apprentices from a range of diverse backgrounds already operating in the workshop. Due to demand, the first intake has been oversubscribed.
The program has received strong support from BMW Group Australia dealers, with more than 40% of the network participating in the inaugural intake. In addition, it took just 52 minutes for the first #NextTech vacancy to be lodged after the initiative was announced, clearly demonstrating its appeal. Plans for the second intake are currently being finalised, with applications expected to reopen in Q3.
The event highlighted the close collaboration between BMW Group Australia and NextGen Jobs, a group training and apprenticeship market leader focused on redesigning apprenticeship pathways for ‘new collar’ and technology-driven occupations.
Event attendees heard from those integral to the program’s development, including Dr Meierbeck, Steven Dunn, BMW Group Australia’s Head of Training and Retail Human Resources; Arron Wood, Chief Industry Engagement and Education Officer of Kangan Institute and Frederick Maddern OBE, Chair of NextGen Jobs. Darrin Jordaan, Training Manager – Technical, BMW Group Australia, also provided attendees with a guided tour of the purpose-built BMW #NextTech training room.
“The BMW #NextTech Mentored Apprenticeship Program is one of the first major collaborative programs we have developed with our new-collar approach, and it shows what can be achieved by working closely with industry and educators,” said Andrew Sezonov, General Manager, NextGen Jobs. “Partnering with BMW Group Australia and Bendigo Kangan Institute is fantastic, and we are confident this program will be sought after for many years to come.”