It is the third major Award the VACC Auto Apprenticeship Group Scheme has received in recent months, following success in the Victorian Training Awards and being a finalist in the National Training Awards. “We are delighted to receive the 2014 Australian Business Award for Service Excellence. It’s great for the industry and great for our dedicated auto apprenticeship team. It is satisfying that our leadership in this area of the automotive industry has been recognised at a state and national level,” VACC General Manager, Employment and Training, Leyla Yilmaz, said. The Service Excellence Award comes at an important time for the automotive industry with vehicle manufacturing winding down and skills shortages increasing. According to Auto Skills Australia, 46 per cent of automotive businesses are affected by skills shortages. “VACC facilitates the right training in the right environment for the right career and throughout the last 30 years, VACC has graduated 2,935 apprentices through the program. With strong partnerships with host employers and Registered Training Organisations, VACC supports an apprentice through every step of the process, as well as providing additional services such as recruitment, engagement, tools, mentoring and life-skills,” said Mrs Yilmaz. Attracting apprentices is one thing; retaining them is another. The industry standard for retention rates of automotive apprentices is less than 50 per cent, however VACC’s retention rate is more than 90 per cent. The high retention rate is a reflection of the healthy relationships VACC enjoys with stakeholders right across the board, including parents, host employers, trainers and apprentices themselves. “With three out of four people employed in the automotive industry working in repair, service and retail, this is a significant sector and one which will get bigger. There will be many career opportunities and VACC will continue to supply quality trained tradespeople for VACC members and the automotive industry,” Mrs Yilmaz said. For more information, visit autoapprenticeships.com.au