Survey: Repairers hold dim view of pre-apprenticeship curriculum

Toronto, Ontario — January 16, 2018 — Canada’s collision community has delivered a scathing verdict against the country’s auto repair education programs.

According to the results of an anonymous survey of Collision Repair readers, just 38 percent of industry owners and managers believe Canada’s pre-apprenticeship diplomas provide an excellent or good foundation in the basics of repair procedures. With one exception, this was the highest rated aspect of Canada’s college-level collision curriculum.

Just one-in-four respondents judged college coverage of welding techniques to be either excellent or good, while 47 percent viewed it as inadequate or non-existent.

Respondent’s faith in their apprentices training in aluminum repairs was even lower, with 76 percent giving a score of inadequate or dreadful.

Likewise, six-in-10 respondents considered their apprentices’ training in PDR techniques to be either inadequate or nonexistent. More than half of respondents also considered newly trained apprentices to have an inadequate or nonexistent understanding of new technologies.

The one area where the majority of repairers did believe their incoming apprentices were being well trained in was in matters of health and safety. Close to eight-in-10 respondents judged there apprentices understanding of the health and safety procedures to be either excellent or good.

Collision repairers are not alone in their concerns about college-level training. One employee of a public insurance company wrote in to say that among insurers, “It is felt that the instructors themselves lack the experience, and that they do not provide the proper supervision to make quality tradespersons of their students.”

While the overall results indicate a widespread lack of faith in the college-level industry education system, so repairers were prepared to defend the system.

“Pre-apprentiship programs give a good overview of our trade,” one respondent wrote, adding: “I believe it is the facilities responsibility to shape and educate the employees into what field they will excel at.”


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