A SECOND WA agricultural machinery dealership group has endorsed advice for regional school leavers looking for a career to check with their local machinery dealer.
Tim Boekeman, machinery and precision farming sales specialist based at Boekeman Machinery's Wongan Hills dealership, said this week that calling in and talking to dealership staff about possible employment opportunities was a "sensible thing" for regional leavers to do to enhance chances of starting a career close to home.
While Boekeman Machinery had celebrated its latest mechanical service technician, Cornel Pronk, completing his apprenticeship as a diesel technician and service technician at the Dalwallinu dealership just last week, it was looking for more apprentices to train across its four dealerships, Mr Boekeman said.
It was also looking for school leavers prepared to take on traineeships in parts interpreting or machinery sales and support.
"It has not been easy to find people in the current climate," Mr Boekeman said.
"We are still advertising (for people) and there are still limited positions available for our 2022 (apprentice and trainee) intake," he said.
Positions include mechanical service technician apprenticeships, parts interpreter traineeships, precision farming traineeships and sales traineeships across Boekeman dealerships at Wongan Hills, Dalwallinu, Dowerin and Northam.
There were also specific advertised vacancies for a trainee parts interpreter at Dalwallinu and for a mechanical service technician at Northam.
The apprenticeship and trainee positions require successful applicants to undertake the appropriate Certificate III or II TAFE courses.
As well, apprentices and trainees will receive specific franchise-related training - Boekeman franchised equipment includes Case IH, JCB, Simplicity, Marshall and Hardi brands - and on-the-job training, Mr Boekeman said.
For most jobs with Boekeman, a C class manual driver's licence is a requirement and an interest in agriculture and machinery will help.
"Calling in to their local dealership is a good place to start for school leavers wanting to find out about a career in agricultural machinery and what their options might be," Mr Boekeman said.
"They can also email their resume to admin@ boekemans.com.au or visit our careers page on our website, boekemans.com.au," he said.
Mr Boekeman said the family-owned group has been working closely with Muresk Institute, Northam, on developing courses designed to train young people for a variety of roles at agricultural machinery dealerships.
The Farm Machinery & Industry Association of WA and its executive officer John Henchy has also been working with Muresk, as a specialist agricultural training facility, on a range of courses specific to agricultural machinery dealerships.
While some of the larger agricultural dealerships run training programs in conjunction with TAFE centres to provide their own service technicians, parts interpreters and new and used machinery sales staff, there is no centralised training facility offering courses on the latest equipment.
As reported in Farm Weekly earlier this year, construction of a $7.5 million Specialist Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation proposed to be built at Muresk was delayed when builders Pindan Group went into liquidation in May.
The specialist centre is now not likely to open until next year.
In July Muresk hosted the inaugural WAFarmers Bootcamp to Employment, an intensive three-day program taking students through topics like agricultural mechanisation, machinery application, agronomy and work health and safety.
Mr Henchy was one of the industry experts presenting at the bootcamp.
"Some people think agriculture is limited to working on a farm, but in actual fact mechanisation and precision agriculture has become a huge part of the industry," Mr Henchy told bootcamp students.
"With all of the new equipment and technology - someone has to market that equipment, someone has to look after it and someone has to make sure it's working at its optimum level, so in the past 10-15 years precision ag has become a new job at our machinery dealerships," he said.
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