Young mechanics learn their trade
An apprenticeship scheme to train Bermudian mechanics has almost guaranteed employment prospects, a business that provides training in the sector said yesterday.
Fernando Oliveira, the owner of Noble Automotive, said a worldwide shortage of automotive mechanics meant that a qualified and dedicated technician would “never be unemployed”.
He added: “These days, a lot of people want to do different kind of jobs, so if you like what you do, you can’t go wrong as a mechanic.”
Mr Oliveira’s business is based at CedarBridge Academy in Devonshire, and gives pupils from the school as young as 12 a chance to learn the trade.
He added training at the workshop now included electric and hybrid vehicles and the latest electronic vehicle technology.
Mr Oliveira said: “It’s not like the old days where you could take a car apart in the driveway with your dad. Now it’s all electric. The average car nowadays has 50 times more computing power than the first spacecraft that went to the moon.
“There is always a need for mechanics, so it’s important for us to grow our own.”
Mr Oliveira said technical skills could lead trainees into a to a variety of sectors.
He added a former apprentice who finished his training more than 15 years ago is now an airline safety inspector.
Devonte Fox, 20, and Kyle Lightbourne, 24, are both headed to Niagara College in Canada to start a three-year course to gain certification as automotive service technicians.
Mr Fox said: “Truthfully, you never get tired because there’s always something new.
“Your mind is always working. It may be the same problem, but there are many different ways to resolve it.”
Mr Lightbourne added he had always enjoyed working on engines and started with motorcycles.
He has been learning the trade at the firm for the past year after a course at Bermuda College.
Nicholas Fletcher, 19, will be starting his second semester after he learnt about the apprenticeships at the CedarBridge careers fair.
Kyle Brangman, 30, a graduate of the New England Institute of Technology, is now qualified in auto repair and painting.
Aaron Famous, 25, said his start came in childhood.
He said: “As a kid around the house, I always used to take stuff apart and put it back together.”
His family suggested that he study at the Universal Technical Institute in Florida, where he graduated. Mr Famous said: “I found out that I could make a career out of it.”
• For more information on apprenticeships, phone 236-6999 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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