2018 GTO Excellence Award Winner: AGA


GTO Service Excellence Award AGA Mark Knox with Gary Workman

AGA SEAT Program

AGA have utilised the South East Automotive Transition program and the back to work funding to develop an apprenticeship model to eliminate the barriers to employing retrenched automotive workers into apprenticeships and traineeships across the south east region of Melbourne. The “AGA SEAT” program has employed over 30 retrenched auto workers to date.

AGA’s SEAT program utilises the retrenched employee’s current skills and experiences to RPL some core competencies of the qualification and progress the worker though the apprenticeship or traineeship in an accelerated manner.

This model has been a key pillar in the program’s success as it addresses the retrenched workers reluctance to complete a 4 year apprenticeship, and more importantly it highlights their current skills and abilities to complete such a qualification. This has seen the confidence levels of the retrenched worker grow significantly and enabled them to start their new qualification on a great note.

AGA has developed a costing model, utilising the AEN SEAT funding and the State Government Back to Work Funding to increase the wages to the employee (where required) and reduce the employment costs of employing an adult apprentice for the host employer.

The third piece to the program is accessing relevant and quality host placements for the retrenched worker.

AGA has worked with many employers such as North East Program Alliance (NEPA) BMW South Yarra, Subaru Australia, Local Government and a range of domestic based host employers to place the (transitioning worker) new apprentices and trainees into quality experiences.

The AGA SEAT program has made a significant contribution to retrenched workers in the south east of Melbourne through the programs ability to break down some of the barriers for mature age workers to transition into an apprenticeships and traineeships. This has occurred through the pooling of incentives to increase the wages of the apprentices and trainees and also reduce the costs  of employment to our host employers. This has seen a smooth and uncomplicated transition for the workers and the AGA host employers.

These two principles are two of the biggest obstacles of employing mature aged apprentices and trainees. Traditionally the mature aged employee has higher cost of living expenses due the natural stage of their life, and the employer doesn’t not want to pay the higher wages of a mature aged employee who is still learning the relevant qualification.

The uniqueness of this program is that AGA work collectively with the AEN and State Government to ensure we are meeting the needs of all stakeholders around the effected workers.

AGA has developed specific, specialised means and tools to assist the retrenched workers through the transition phase of their employment. The retrenched workers are extremely intimidated by the thought of attending an interview and aptitude process for recruitment. AGA’s recruitment team have developed alternative ways to assist the retrenched worker through this stage and measure suitability for the workers new vocation.

AGA has also worked extensively with Matchworks who have also created great relationships with the transitioning workers and assisted AGA in linking the right worker with the new apprenticeship or traineeship.

TAFEs, SaJCs and DEDJTR have also been  key players in the AGA SEAT program, these relationships have ensure that the new employees have all the required support to make a smooth transition into a new career.