TWICE THE POWER

As the popularity of electric vehicles is growing, Nicholson Autos Whakatane thought it the perfect time to have two of their employees apply for a 2022 MITO Electric Vehicle scholarship. And to their benefit it paid off!

Nicholson Autos employees and MITO Alumni Peter Hayman and Stevie-Lee Amai have both been awarded a scholarship to complete MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Electric Vehicle Engineering (Level 5).

When the scholarships were announced last year, Nicholson Autos Service Manager Andrew Wilson thought it a great opportunity to have some of their team apply. “Peter and Stevie are really interested and keen to learn the new technology and we decided if they are keen then we should put them through the training to gain the new EV qualification.” 

Peter Hayman, Andrew Wilson (Service Manager), Stevie-Lee Amai

Peter has been in the automotive industry since he left school, “I was working as a vehicle groomer at Nicholson Autos, after six months they offered me an apprenticeship. Getting this scholarship is the next step for me to take in my career. I have been looking at ways to further my knowledge and grow, and with the way the cars and industry is going, getting into electric vehicles seemed like the best next step for me.”

For Stevie, he too wants to keep up with technology. “Getting involved in the latest technology interests me because if we don’t adapt then we won’t be able to keep up with the times.” This was also the main reason he got into the automotive industry, “I started in the industry back in 2015. I was seeing where the world was going and how everything was becoming more automated. However, you still need someone to operate and fix it, so I became the fixer.”

As Peter and Stevie both take this next step in their careers, they reflect on what they are most excited about. Peter is looking forward to the challenge, “the challenge of something new and how things work and how they work together is really exciting for me.” Stevie on the other hand is excited but nervous, “It’s going to be a definite challenge because it’s all electronics based and not how normal vehicles function, but I am excited for this challenge, and it is a great step for me.”

Peter and Stevie will be one of the first two people at Nicholson Autos to be fully qualified in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering. Andrew and his team are already looking towards the future. “I think that EV technology is going to become part of the main curriculum in the future - it won’t be so specialised, it will be a core part of apprenticeship training.” As for the next steps for Nicholson Autos, Andrew assures more staff will be trained, “Once Peter and Stevie complete their training, we will be looking at putting the next lot of staff through the qualification.”

“The more technicians that get on board and begin learning these things the better off the industry will be, and especially for our dealership in Whakatane. We are multi-franchised so pretty much every brand we have is moving electric. It won’t just be a one-off car that requires servicing, they will become part of the main vehicles coming in, so we want our guys to be up with the play. MITO has provided a great opportunity for Peter and Stevie to complete this qualification, and having these scholarships available for learners gives them a great chance to keep upskilling and learning.”

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