Do people really want to work without getting their hands dirty? Would anyone turn down a good-paying, personally fulfilling job over a little grease and grime?
I’m sure given the choice, people would rather be clean, but in a story on posted online today, it’s suggested that to address a shortage of service-bay staff, the job description needs a makeover. A clean-up, as it were. Get rid of the grease-monkey image by showing the more technical side. It’s all laptops, lab coats and diagnostics now, right?
That depends. Tahnee PitterDuncan, a 20-year-old Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) autobody apprentice, says that times have changed.
But dirt or no dirt, it’s PitterDuncan’s other remarks that strike a chord.
“There should be more people jumping to get into the trades, but there’s a nasty stigma of being called a greaseball, dropout or just an idiot for being a technician in the automotive sector. None of this is true,” she said in the story.
“You also have to be pretty smart to diagnose and repair damages on a vehicle, especially since there’s more and more electrical systems being added to vehicles.
“Good technicians make $80,000 a year and have no school debt to pay off compared to others because they did an apprenticeship.”
No school debt, a good job and good pay. How about that?
Janna Erichsen, chairwoman of part-time learning in the School of Transportation at Centennial College in Toronto, said, “We have more mechanical engineers than we know what to do with, whereas we don’t have enough really good techs.”
Their comments are just the beginning of this conversation, one that they say parents need to have with their kids when it comes to career options.
Dealerships are in need — perhaps even dire need — of skilled staff in nearly every area of the business. So are suppliers and automakers. A vast pot of opportunity has opened up for talented, eager and driven individuals. All they have to do is roll up their sleeves and get . . . not dirty. Or maybe dirty. But that doesn’t really matter, does it?