TMHA welcomes 15 new forklift apprentices into training program
Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has welcomed one of its biggest crops of forklift technician apprentices in its 2022 Annual Apprentice Intake, with 15 new inductees brought into the program.
As ever, competition for spots in the Annual Apprentice Intake were extremely fierce, with the 15 apprentices chosen from a field of around 875 applicants.
The grassroots initiative fosters the development of in-demand skills that will provide the new forklift technician apprentices with valuable expertise, affording strong employment opportunities with plentiful room for growth within the company.
An induction ceremony on April 21 saw the 15 new apprentices attend accompanied by mentors from their respective TMHA branches, where they were welcomed by senior TMHA executives including president CEO Steve Takacs.
Held at the TMHA Customer Experience Centre in Moorebank, NSW, the meet and greet was followed by a safety overview, a presentation on Toyota history, values and expectations, and a tour of the headquarters.
After a lunch together, Takacs then presented the new apprentices with their tools of the trade, marking a significant investment directly to the inductees.
Apprentices were invited to stay at the Rydges of Campbelltown hotel on the night of April 20, complete with a casual dinner with executives.
The 15 successful applicants will be distributed to TMHA branches across Australia, in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Albury, Launceston and Gladstone.
The four-year program now educates roughly 55 apprentices and has been successfully run by TMHA since 2007.
TMHA national manager – LEAN Management and After Sales Evaluation Cert, Gerry Larney, said the apprenticeship program was the perfect way to integrate new talent into the TMHA world.
“It’s really beneficial to our business,” Larney said.
“We use the apprenticeship program to grow our skillset and forklift technician base, it’s been really successful for us.”
Larney added that the retention rate for TMHA apprentices was much higher than the national average, showing the success of the program.
TMHA apprentices sit 10-15% above the national apprentice retention rate, helped in part by the large scope for growth within the company.
Larney said there were multiple avenues to career growth for apprentices, with many forging strong careers at TMHA.
“We have staff that started their apprenticeship at Toyota who are still with us 30 years later,” he said.
“And they’ve branched out into service managers, branch managers, sales managers. It’s a great career path within Toyota.
“There are almost no barriers to where they can go in the business. If they have the skillsets that add on to their technician qualifications, they can go anywhere.
“Our President and CEO Steve Takacs was a forklift technician in this business in the early 80s and worked his way all the way up.”
Larney also started as an apprentice forklift technician – albeit in his native Ireland – before climbing up the ladder to the leadership position he is currently in.
Apprentices receive thorough and well-rounded training with supervision from skilled mentors and are cycled through every aspect of the service business for a truly holistic learning experience.
Toyota has run the apprenticeship program in-house for the last 15 years, focusing on a safe work environment, while imparting the correct skills and knowledge to apprentices while also supporting their TAFE schooling over a four year period.