Trade apprentices are key to business success according to David Readford.
David Readford is a second generation business owner who understands the importance of exceptional trade skills training. David has been in charge of Readford’s in Dubbo, the oldest Yamaha dealer in Australia, for 14 years and worked in the business with his father for 29 years prior to that. He has a long history and working relationship with TAFE Western.
“The motor industry needs highly trained people and by highly trained I mean people that have completed a TAFE course. We need to be able to give customers 100% service. Employees in the industry shouldn’t just aim to pass their training and apprenticeships, they should excel at it. The combination of TAFE training and working in the business is a way of doing this,” David said.
“TAFE training provides apprentices with the environment to learn hands on skills and knowledge and then the employer takes them to the next level by allowing them to further develop their skills with practical experience in the workplace. The business benefits immediately. TAFE teaches a broad range of applications not just being able to diagnose problems but fixing them as well.”
David’s two award winning apprentices Lincoln Brien, who was the 2011 State Medal Winner receiving the highest marks of any student at TAFE in NSW for his Certificate III Automotive Mechanical Technology (Motorcycle) course. He was also a regional finalist in the 2012 Western Region Training Awards.
Brian Richardson was one of the winners in the Apprentice of the Year category in the Western Institute’s annual Outstanding Graduating Student Awards.
David believes that Brian’s learning experience with TAFE has changed Brian’s life in many ways. “He became a mature age apprentice when he decided to change careers after 18 years as a car detailer. Brian was told he would never achieve anything in life and even I thought he would find it tough to become a qualified mechanic as he started his apprenticeship with low literacy skills,” David said. “But it just goes to show, that if you set your mind to it, there are no limits to what you can do with the right support. Brian received extra TAFE tuition every weekend to help him overcome his learning difficulties which he did on top of his apprenticeship training requirements and work commitments.”
“The tutorial and support services that TAFE offers all of their students are fantastic,” he said. “Apprentices like Brian and Lincoln are also changing my life. Giving other people responsibility doesn’t come easy, I don’t like to delegate, but I’m finding that I’m getting better at it and really enjoy providing guidance and direction and seeing my employees grow.”