A pathway to success?
My peers and myself, highly qualified automotive industry experts, were quite unsettled to read the article “Certification: a Pathway to Success” by Duncan Hall in the recent Royal Gazette Motor Express Magazine on page 9.
The reason for this is that we, as the Occupational Advisory Committee to the National Training Board concerning the automotive industry, were asked by the NTB to create an automotive technician certification process at an international standard, as there is no such process in place at present.
To this end, we volunteered many hours of our time and did just that, finally presenting a proposal in January 2013. This included a process for individuals who were either already qualified or required more training, and would present varying levels of certification depending on each individual’s qualification and experience. This would also apply to anyone who was applying from overseas for a work permit as an automotive technician in Bermuda.
This system would have enabled automotive technicians and their employers to understand the level of competence that they had reached and would also provide training to increase their level of certification if so desired — there is quite a difference between a newly qualified technician and a master technician.
The next step for the OAC was to create a modern automotive technician apprenticeship programme to allow Bermudians to reach this international level from the ground up, again, as there is no such process in place. Sadly, the certification process was never approved, much less acknowledged, as we had to follow up more than once to find out if it had even been read by anyone. And so the disillusioned OAC disbanded, abandoning the apprenticeship programme project before it even began.
As it is, there are many individuals working as automotive technicians within Bermuda, some unqualified, others still at the level of an apprentice, yet consumers are paying for these people to carry out technical maintenance and repairs to their vehicles for hundreds of dollars based on how long it takes them to carry out the procedures, which, if they do not fully understand, will take longer and may not be satisfactorily completed.
To us, the industry experts, it was all a wasted voluntary effort, yet here we read an article stating that a training officer can map out your pathway to success?