Dylan: Hi, my name is Dylan.I’m looking at the pre-apprentice scheme at Citycare. I really want to get into the automotive engineering side of things.
Clinton: Its early morning in Christchurch and many of City Care’s vehicles are taking to the road, heading out to maintain parks, lay drains, fix roads, or sweep streets. With operational bases right around the country and 1300 plus staff,
City Care is a leading New Zealand infrastructure service provider. The Christchurch Milton Street depot is also a major centre for maintenance, and inside these workshops almost 900 different types of machinery and automobiles are serviced. Mark Forde was Workshop Manager here for 6 years.
Mark: as you would have been aware, Citycare play quite a major role in the recent earthquakes here in Christchurch and the workshop in particular had a fairly large role in maintaining all the equipment and was run 24 hours a day, obviously seven days a week during that period and they really come into their own role.
Mark: In this particular part of the workshop, we have auto-electricians , heavy field mechanics and small plant mechanics and they undertake an array of repairs from big engine overhauls down to basic servicing.
Mark: I’ll like to introduce you to Dylan who’s considering a career as an automotive mechanic.
Clinton: Daniel Bryce, a City Care apprentice, has had a call that one of their big mowers won’t start. Dylan and Dan head off to trouble shoot.
Daniel: We’ve got a tractor here and he’s obviously left his lights on and he’s flattened his battery so we just need to give him a jumpstart…
Daniel: …and away we go.
Clinton: Something special about City Care is that they jump-start many young careers with an award winning pre-apprenticeship scheme. For someone like Dylan, keen on cars, the scheme will get them on the road to a job.
Mark: They could work for up to a year here in Citycare and work in a number of different divisions and we give them the opportunity to work in roading construction, traffic management, waste and water, trees, parks – there’s a number of areas they would be interested in.
Mark: We would sit them down at the end of the year and we would look to see what areas they would show an interest in. We quite often try to match our students with areas that they’re quite passionate about or have shown a good interest in and then we would look to set them into formal qualifications which obviously in the automotive industry we would be using them through the workshop and they would be matched with the MITO trainer.
Clinton: Daniel, who already has an advanced automotive electrician certificate, is presently studying for a National Certificate in Automotive Heavy Engineering.
Daniel: Hi Dylan, this is our new ZW100 Hitachi loader that we’ve just had delivered. Before it heads out onto the service we just have to check that everything’s working ok.
Mark: As an Automotive Heavy Engineer, our apprentices have a choice in specialising in three areas really – agricultural equipment, road and transport and plant and equipment.
Daniel: It looks like we’ve got a park light our here too which we’ll have to fix before send it out into the field…
Daniel: …undo the lens here…
Daniel: …oh now I see what the problem is Dylan – someone’s put the light on backwards and that’s why we couldn’t see it before at the front, so when they were making this guard up, someone has just put it around the wrong way. What do you think we’re going to have to do to fix it?
Dylan: All we have to do is turn it around.
Daniel: Simple, isn’t it?
Clinton: With the easy fix done, the shiny new loader’s heading off to its first job.
Mark: Citycare has a large range of machines throughout its organisation, and particularly now since the earthquakes happened in Christchurch, we’ve had to have large buy up of specialist equipment – everything from a Masco flex truck, worth around $1 million, right down to our 5 ton diggers.
Dylan: What work does Citycare have to do with the earthquake recovery?
Mark: Well primarily we were the first to respond to the waste and water – the city dropped a lot of water throughout the entire city and were responsible for actually trying to put that water back on. A number of staff probably worked close to 100 hours and of course they were dealing with the emotional trauma of the earthquake themselves and a number of people lost their homes so it really a huge challenging time for everybody involved.
Mark’s phone rings.
Mark: Hang on this might be one I need to take…
Clinton: Mark gets a call. Not far away there’s a truck that’s broken down. Apprentice Dan is heading out to fix it.
Daniel: So you’ve got an overheating problem – what’s actually happened today?
Driver: The buzzer has come on and the gauge has gone right into the red.
Daniel: Ok Dylan, we’ll put the cab over and we’ll see what’s happened here, ok?
Dylan: Ok, let’s do it.
Daniel: Pull this lever out, so flick that safety latch there…
Daniel: Yep, flick it up and then pull that lever out…yep…
Daniel: …there you go, and push that button…
Mark: It’s such a It’s such a large place at Citycare – there’s such a huge diversity in the skill sets that are made up and technology is playing a very, very big part and that’s one of the challenging aspects of becoming an apprentice nowadays – it’s actually keeping up with technology and keeping abreast of it all the way through.
Daniel: When a vehicle is hot, we can’t just pop open the cap, so we just need to have a visual check.
Dylan: Why can’t we pop open the cap?
Daniel: Because there’s a lot of pressure – as the vehicle heats up it creates pressure in the cooling system and if you open the cap it will just burst open and you could burn yourself like that.
Daniel: The next thing, probably look around and just check your visual checks and see if we’ve got any leaks anywhere.
Mark: The qualities I would look for in a young person nowadays is certainly someone who is quite passionate about it and someone who has a really good attitude and the ability to be able to learn and want to learn and be challenged all the way through his apprenticeship.
Daniel: So that looks alright up there – can’t see any wet patches?
Dylan: Looks fine.
Daniel: Ok, why don’t you get down and we’ll have a look underneath?
Dylan: Yep – think there’s some water dripping from there.
Daniel: Oh there is too.
Clinton: So Dan calls for a tow back to the workshop. The truck will be fixed by tomorrow.
Mark: Dylan has done extremely well today. He showed a good keen attitude toward the mechanical side of the business and he would be the type of guy that we would be looking to employ in the future through a MITO apprenticeship.
Dylan: It’s gone real well. I’ve seen a lot of jobs throughout Citycare. I like the idea of fixing up big trucks and I’d like to get into the automotive heavy engineering side of things.
Clinton: There’s a heavy engineering qualification available in the National Certificate in Motor Industry. Separate strands are available for agriculture equipment, plant and equipment and road transport. You can learn at your own pace and fit your study in with the demands of your job. City Care’s pre-apprenticeship scheme can lead to a full apprenticeship with Mito qualifications.