In light of labour shortages in the automotive service industry, recruiting co-op students or apprentices who have undergone automotive program training can provide a steady supply of skilled and dedicated workers to maintain smooth operations in the shop.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) offers the Automotive Service Technician and Operations (ASTO) Co-op Program,1 a two-year diploma program that provides in-depth training of all four technical training levels required for Automotive Service Technician certification. In addition to repair and diagnostic training, students are equipped with a fundamental understanding of automotive science and business operations, allowing graduates to pursue various positions throughout the automotive service industry, including technicians, service advising, parts and management.
What is Co-op?1
Co-op is an academic work experience course, where students work within their area of study, using their educational training within an industry setting. Co-op is a partnership between BCIT and the employer, to provide students with meaningful work experience. The ASTO program includes two, co-op work terms where students are embedded within a shop environment, working alongside trained technicians to put their training to good use.
Here are some reasons why you should consider hiring co-op students for your shop:
- A work experience course students are registered in as a part of their diploma requirements
- Students are being evaluated on their work performance for grades and BCIT is the student’s SkilledTradesBC sponsor
- The Co-op team supports automotive employers in hiring, supervising and mentoring BCIT students
- Students receive more training time at 12 weeks per level
- Front loads SkilledTradesBC Technical Training in 2 years
- Students receive health benefits through BCIT
- Students complete work hours independent from BCIT
- Students are not being evaluated by BCIT on their work
performance and the employer is the SkilledTradesBC
- There are no supports with hiring or supervising students
- Students receive less training time at 7 weeks per level
- SkilledTradesBC Technical Training is spread out over 4 years
- Students receive health benefits through the employer
What can ASTO students do?
- Perform general automotive maintenance
- Service wheels, brakes, suspension, steering systems
- Perform basic electrical diagnosis
- Engage in customer relations and business operations
- Perform electrical and mechanical: engine, transmission, fuel and emission systems
service & repair (Co-op 2)
Why hire a Co-op student?
- Attract top technicians to your shop before they graduate
- Fill short term hiring needs easily and quickly
- Co-op students are available to work throughout the entire year, contributing to a stable workforce
- Mentor the next generation of technicians to support their success in the trade
- Contribute your perspective to ensure the program is responding to industry needs
- hiring co-op students for April – September
- hiring students for October – March
For more information on hiring BCIT’s ASTO co-op students, please contact the ASTO Co-op Coordinator Jacqueline Craig:
1Program details provided by the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)