Students Try A Trade

The Yamaha Training Academy Finding Our Next Gen Technicians

The Yamaha Training Academy recently visited CathWest Innovation College in the Western Sydney suburb of Mt Druitt as part of its popular Try a Trade Program. The aim was to give students practical insight into what a Yamaha motorcycle or marine technician career could entail if they decide to pursue an apprenticeship in that field. 

The Try A Trade Day provided students with a taste of life as a marine technician and/or a motorcycle technician, Cory Hillsley, Manager of the Yamaha Training Academy team, combined both disciplines for the first time. We normally do motorcycle and marine separately,” Cory explained. “However, the opportunity to partner with CathWest has allowed us to combine both into one day. We have many eager students here; the YTA team will be busy.”  


Cory also explained that the Yamaha Training Academy aims to get behind industry trades and reduce the skills shortage by getting young people interested in the industry. “There’s a real shortage of motorcycle and marine techs at the moment,” he said. “We hold days like this one to show students how rewarding an apprenticeship can be; we also provide a pathway for that opportunity through our dealer network.”


Judith Smith, Manager of Entrepreneurial Partnerships at CathWest Innovation College, said the day allows young people to experience a hands-on workshop and to broaden their understanding of what an apprenticeship may look like. “In addition to the practical experience provided by the Yamaha Training Academy, the day also explains how a school-based apprenticeship may be the most suitable next step in their career pathway.  


Judith also explained how the CathWest program allows students to commence an apprenticeship while continuing their HSC studies. Students can work one day per week at their place of employment, attend their Trade Training one day per week at TAFE/ CathWest and three days at CathWest to complete their HSC. This pathway delivers credentials in a HSC, VET qualifications in Business Services as well as the completion of the first apprenticeship year. They can then transition into the second year of their apprenticeship as a full-time employeeWhile the students undertake the Trade Pathway at CathWest, we also support the employer in dealing with any issues that may arise as the students find their way in the sometimes daunting world of a workplace.” 


Attending Year 10 student, Maximilian, said he was interested in a mechanics-based apprenticeship, and the Try a Trade day with the Yamaha Training Academy was a perfect way to experience what that career may involve. “I’m not sure if my future is as a marine or motorcycle technician, but something in the mechanical trade is where I’d like to be,” he revealed. 

I like how the day runs; it’s very hands-on. We are not just sitting in a classroom while someone explains things; we are experiencing it first-hand.” 


Most notable at the Try a Trade Day was the number of female students interested in the traditionally male-dominated trades. Cory Hillsley said the girls approach the trades differently than the guys. If I’m being honest, their attention to detail, patience and problem-solving skills make them a better technician,” he said. “There’s a little more finesse to their work; guys generally want things to bend to their will.” 


Anyone wanting to learn more about a career as a Yamaha technician or would like additional information about the Yamaha Technical Academy In-schools program should visit the YTA web page or follow the links in the provided panel.


Corry Hillsley also encouraged any school leavers interested in a career with Yamaha as a technician to speak with their local Yamaha dealer. “Start a conversation with your local dealer about an apprenticeship or even a work experience opportunity. If you need additional help or guidance, please reach out to us Email