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CIT leads charge with EV training

Published: 15 Dec 2023

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and Tesla are one step closer to graduating Australia’s first qualified apprentices in Electric Vehicle technology after five students reached a significant milestone this week.

The five students were the first in Australia to start working towards a Certificate III in Automotive Electric Vehicle Technology (AUR32721), in 2021, and this week complete three years of in-class study at CIT. The students will now embark on one year of practical workforce training in 2024 to make history and complete their four-year apprenticeships.

The innovative course at CIT is designed and delivered in collaboration with Tesla. It has continued to grow every year since its inception in 2021 and will achieve another milestone in 2024 by reaching a total of 50 students across all stages of the four-year apprenticeship.

CIT Head of Automotive Dave Keeley said the course demonstrated CIT's future-focused approach to vocational education and training.

"This course in Electric Vehicle technology in collaboration with Tesla is ground-breaking," Dave said. "It's a great example of CIT working with major industry to identify skills needs and deliver quality training that can uplift the national workforce.

"Canberra leads the charge when it comes to the uptake of Electric Vehicles and so it's fitting that CIT has led the way when it comes to delivering this innovative training. We continue to attract students from all around the country. Having started with these five students in 2021, CIT will welcome 21 new apprentices with Tesla in 2024."

Tesla's Technical Training Manager Phil Austin credited CIT for the successful collaboration.

"This will grow exponentially," Phil said. "CIT have gone over and above to help us develop and deliver this course, it wouldn't have been successful if we hadn't worked together.

"These students make it so easy to come to work. They would now know more about this technology than a lot of the technicians at work because we've been curious and we've taken on challenges that are right outside the box."

The five students are: Jacob Hanna and Jake Waters, from Sydney; Damien Jones and Tyler Dowsey, from Melbourne; and Isidro Gonzalez-Obst, from Brisbane. They have travelled to Canberra regularly for intensive one-week blocks of study.

Jacob Hanna, from Sydney, said the CIT course had been the perfect fit for him.

"I'm into cars, fixing electronics and coding, so this had everything all merged into one," Jacob said. "I couldn't find a better job than what I'm in now. I was looking through hundreds of courses and jobs, this was the best.

"Everything's always changing really quickly, we've got to keep up-to-date with study. I want to become the best technician I can."

Damien Jones, of Melbourne, studied marketing at university before deciding he wanted a more "hands-on" career.

"I had a really big passion for cars and thought 'why not get involved with what will be the future of automotive'," Damien said. "This course is setting a really high standard for what will be the future of mechanics. We're really lucky to have such good teachers, they're very knowledgeable and approachable. The facilities have been awesome. Canberra is obviously very forward-thinking."

Tyler Dowsey, from Melbourne, was working in retail before pursing his new career path.

"It's one of the best decisions I've made," Tyler said. "The work is fulfilling and the opportunities are great. It's surreal to think no one else has done this before and we're the first.

"Coming to CIT has been fantastic, the simulators they have here give you a really deep understanding of the technology. It's one thing to learn in the workshop, but here you get to really double-down on everything you're learning."