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Bosch in Australia

Bosch steers next generation of automotive apprentices

Bosch Team
Bosch Oceania President, Gavin Smith, along with Automotive Aftermarket General Manager, Michael Werle and Bosch Car Service (BCS) National Franchise & Operations Manager, Angelo Di Lizio with the new apprentices and guest speakers.

Growing up, Bree-Anne Jones loved working on cars with her dad and uncles. They were car enthusiasts and always had hobby projects on the go.

“I remember being ten years old and doing timing belts with my dad in the backyard,” says Bree, now 23. “I was so young and was already learning how to do complex tasks. I just loved it.”

After high school, Bree was working as a barista but knew it wasn’t the right job for her. When someone suggested she pursue a career in the automotive industry, she thought, ‘why not’?

Drift Racing
New BCS apprentice, Bree-Anne Jones

Wind forwards the clock and Bree is now a fourth-year Bosch Car Service apprentice at Andrew McClure Mechanical in Ipswich, Queensland. In addition to getting hands-on experience on the job, Bree is completing a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Technology through TAFE Queensland.

A typical day in the workshop can include anything from general repairs and servicing to more complex tasks like changing timing chains. One of the coolest jobs Bree has worked on involved fixing the fuel pump in a vintage Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am.

“What I love about my job is that there’s something new every single day,” she says. “I’m working on cars that are older than my grandparents sometimes, like Morris Minors, and then you get a car in and it’s a 2023 model. You learn a lot.”

Bree says the automotive industry is rapidly changing, which keeps things fresh and interesting. To learn about the latest technological advancements, Bree has done extra courses on how to service Electric Vehicles (EVs) and hybrids.

In April, she also jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Bosch Car Service Apprentice and Mentoring Program at Bosch’s Clayton headquarters. In total, 23 apprentices from Australia and New Zealand attended. They networked with other apprentices, received career advice and listened to guest speakers like Gavin Smith, President Bosch Oceania, who spoke about how car servicing in the future is going to be very different to how it is today.

Other highlights included:

Bosch Technical and Equipment provided insights into the technical aspects and types of equipment used in Bosch;

Bosch Motorsport spoke about the company’s involvement in the sport and the potential exciting career prospects for enthusiastic automotive apprentices;

Kate Harrington, who is the manager of Blanchard Racing Team (sponsored by CoolDrive), provided an interesting perspective about the world of motorsport;

Apprenticeships Are Us managing director Michael Wentworth spoke about the importance and benefits of apprenticeship programs;

Castrol (a major sponsor of the event) and Ryco ran product information sessions.

“I got a lot of good advice out of it, especially around all the extra courses you can do,” says Bree. “You can go on to do a dual trade or a bridging course to get into university for mechanical engineering, for example. It was all really helpful information.”

Also in attendance was second year auto-electrical apprentice Nathan Koutts, 20, from Forster, NSW. Like Bree, Nathan developed an interest in cars after watching his dad and older brothers working on them.

After finishing year 12, Nathan applied for an auto-electrical apprenticeship through Bosch Car Service - Great Lakes Auto Centre. He’s currently completing his Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology with the Motor Traders’ Association NSW.

Nathan is happiest when he’s applying his knowledge and broadening his skillset in the workshop. When he’s not at work, Nathan often spends his free time making cosmetic enhancements and modifications to his Holden VF Commodore.

“My dream is to one day get into the motorsport industry with the V8 Supercars or in the drift scene,” Nathan says. “I want to be dual traded (with mechanical) and get as much knowledge as I can.”

New BCS apprentice, Nathan Koutts
New BCS apprentice, Nathan Koutts

Nathan says he learned a lot at the Bosch Car Service Apprentice and Mentoring Program, particularly about EVs. “It definitely broadened my understanding of Bosch as a business and the multiple pathways you can take,” he says. “It was also good insight into Bosch as a worldwide brand.”

Andrew Thatcher, 34, of Brisbane, was one of the mature-age apprentices at the Bosch Car Service Apprentice and Mentoring Program. After the pandemic, Andrew decided to have a career change and follow in his father’s footsteps, so he joined the automotive industry.

It’s hard not to develop a passion for cars when your dad is a car mechanic. Growing up, Andrew would spend weekends in the workshop watching his father. He fondly remembers looking at old photos of his dad’s yellow race car as a child and feeling inspired.

Andrew is now a third-year apprentice at Bosch Car Service – Redlands, which his father Bernie established in 1984. He’s also completing a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology through MTA Institute.

Andrew plans to one day take over the family business, but for the moment, he is enjoying learning the ropes.

New BCS apprentice, Andrew Thatcher
New BCS apprentice, Andrew Thatcher

“Once you get into in-depth diagnosis work or taking apart an entire engine, you start to appreciate more the multi-faceted side of being a mechanic,” says Andrew. “There’s a lot to learn and every day feels a bit different. Even if you’re just doing basic servicing, there are different cars and manufactures, and they all do things a little differently. It’s pretty rewarding.”