The Cayo Centre for Employment Training offers a level 1 (entry level) program in Auto Mechanics. The length of the course is 1000 hours. Trainees spend approximately 650 hours trade training. The 650 hours are split between learning trade theory and performing practical tasks. A further 350 hours is spent doing support subject work. Support subjects include Mathematics, Technical Drawing, Life Skills, Information Technology, and English.
Trade topics include vehicle engines both gasoline and diesel, vehicle fuel systems, the drive line, vehicle transmission systems, steering and suspension, braking systems, vehicle electrical and electronic systems, routine maintenance requirements, welding, bench work, and an introduction to vehicles and the automotive industry both here at home and abroad.
The aim of the program is threefold; firstly to teach trade, secondly to prepare the trainees for the workplace, and finally to assist the trainees in improving their academic skills. After successful completion of the course the trainee will be able to enter the workplace and become a productive member of the workforce and be self-sufficient.
The style of training we offer is known as competency based education. Both trade and support subject work is divided up into modules; each module is then further divided up into competences. Trainees are assessed on each and every competency by their respective instructors. Areas of assessment include; knowledge, skills and attitude.
After successful completion of all competences the trainee spends 4 weeks “on the job training”. This is time spent working at a suitable repair shop alongside professional mechanics. Their training is put to the test. I am pleased to report that nearly all of the Auto Mechanic Program Trainees find employment.
Learning a trade is not easy, and the trade of auto mechanic will not suit everyone. I often tell my trainees that the trade of auto mechanic is different from most of the other trades. If a carpenter gets things wrong then all we have to contend with is a wobbly table. If a dress maker gets things wrong then the blouse will not fit the customer. But when a mechanic gets things wrong there may be an accident, people getting hurt, or even worse. At the very least, it will be costly.
The trade demands people that are well disciplined and people that can and will follow instructions. The standards are high. Whilst there are rewards, mechanics are usually well paid; you must certainly need to work hard. Money of course is not everything. There is something really satisfying about working with mechanics or repairing something that previously did not work or that did not work too well.
I really do encourage anyone who enjoys working with their hands or likes vehicles to seriously consider the trade of auto mechanics. Many years ago I did and have never regretted it.