Apprenticeship as good as any other vocational qualification or degree

“For too long a trade qualification has been seen, by some groups, as a second rate qualification. Some
think that going to University is the be-all and end-all of professional learning, and if you don’t make the
grade, you might consider going into a trade. This is not correct. In my opinion, a trade qualification is
the highest recognition there is of a skilled, well-trained, industry-ready professional,” VACC Executive
Director, Geoff Gwilym said.
Speaking at last night’s prestigious VACC Auto Apprenticeship and Trainee Graduation and Awards
Ceremony at Crown Palladium, Mr Gwilym told graduates, parents and industry and business leaders,
that an apprentice qualification was as good, if not better, than any other vocational qualification or
“Congratulations to the graduates, you should be very proud of yourself. Your qualification is recognised
and supported by industry, desired by employers and signifies you are a professional. You have put in
just as many, if not more, hours; completed both theoretical and hands-on training and are workplace
ready,” said Mr Gwilym.
Mr Gwilym also told parents their support and contribution to the process was invaluable.
“The automotive retail, service and repair sector is dynamic, and requires well trained and work ready
apprentices. There are plenty of job opportunities and future career paths for your son or daughter”.
VACC’s award winning Auto Apprenticeship Group Scheme is the largest employer of auto-apprentices
in Victoria. It has exceptional completion rates and the retention rate is 90 per cent, well above the
national average of around 50 per cent. Skills and training is tailored to produce well-rounded and
responsible members of the community. For the workplace, VACC provides training, mentoring and
leadership. In addition, apprentices receive valuable hands-on, work experience with a VACC host
employer who inevitably becomes their full time employer once they have completed their
apprenticeship. And they are equipped with life skills, through personal development programs
including finance, communications and drug and alcohol advice.
VACC President Peter Savige presented 90 certificates to graduates, schools-based apprentices, Diploma
of Automotive Management graduates, and made six presentations to Outstanding Achievement Award
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