Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 4

4

* JUNE 2018

'There's so much excitement in our
industry, and yet the focus is still on
the fact the average technician just
ends up getting greasy all day
and changes oil'

PHOTO: ISTOCK

The death of the
'grease monkey'
By PERRY LEFKO

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
autobody apprentice.
"There should be more people jumping to get into the trades, but there's a
ONE OF CANADA'S TOP
nasty stigma of being called a greaseautomotive dealers thinks the indusball, dropout or just an idiot for being
try needs to encourage high school
a technician in the automotive sector.
students to consider
None of this is true,"
careers in vehicle serPitter-Duncan said.
vice and repair, and
"Top-of-the-line
that convincing them
shops are clean
the jobs are highly
because only the
technical is the way
rookies spill oil. You
to do it.
also have to be pretShahin Alizadeh,
ty smart to diagnose
CEO of Downtown
and repair damages
Automotive Group
on a vehicle, especial(DAG) in Toronto,
ly since there's more
said there has never
and more electrical
been a better time for
systems being added
young people to conto vehicles.
sider a career in the
"To be a mechanbusiness.
ic or autobody tech"There's so much
nician should never
excitement in our
be synonymous with
industry, and yet the
being broke," said
TAHNEE PITTER-DUNCAN
focus is still on the
Pitter-Duncan, who
Toronto Transit
fact the average techis doing her autoCommission apprentice
nician just ends up
body apprenticeship
getting greasy all
through a TTC proday and changes oil," Alizadeh told
gram in partnership with the Toronto
Automotive News Canada.
District School Board.
"We need a better educational pro"The hard workers of this field
cess in terms of engaging [youths]. We
make so much more money than what
need to realistically make a platform
people believe.
from an industry point of view that
gives the technical side a bit more presHIGH TECH WORK EQUALS HIGH INCOME
ence in the eyes of these [young peo"Good technicians make $80,000 a
ple] as to why it's a great career and a
rewarding career. Spend some resourc- year and have no school debt to pay off
compared to others because they did an
es on promoting to the youth the idea
apprenticeship," Pitter-Duncan said.
of entering the technical side of the car
"An apprenticeship allows you to
business."
learn on the job while getting paid.
DAG includes 10 retail locations in
Very rarely will any job outside the
Toronto representing eight automotive
brands. It has yearly sales of more than blue-collar trades grant you an opportunity to be paired up with an expe$400 million.
rienced licensed technician and give
Alizadeh's opinion is shared by
you a progressive pay rate. I am ahead
Tahnee Pitter-Duncan, a 20-year-old
TORONTO CORRESPONDENT

To be a mechanic or
autobody technician should
never be synonymous with
being broke. The hard
workers of this field make so
much more money than what
people believe.

of many of my friends and old schoolmates as I am already working full
time in the career of my choosing.
Being with TTC also allows me to
receive benefits and a pension. Most
young adults my age wouldn't be reaping these fruits of labour until they're
30 years old."
Janna Erichsen, chairwoman of
part-time learning in the School of
Transportation at Centennial College
in Toronto, said parents need to look
at the automotive trades in a different
light when talking to their children
about careers.
"We have more mechanical engineers than we know what to do with,
whereas we don't have enough really
good techs," she said.
Alizadeh also said the industry must
convey the message that it's inclusive
for women.

"As an employer of over 350 people, I would be absolutely delighted
to see more women in general in our
business regardless of the nature of
their function, but specifically when it
comes to service.
"Looking at some of the women that
we have working on the technical side,
they need to try harder because they
know they are looked upon as somewhat of an anomaly in the business -
less and less but still as an anomaly.
Their attention to detail and doing a
better job in my opinion leads to a better quality of a finished product.

WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE INTIMIDATED
"There's no question that encouraging women to become part of our industry is the biggest challenge we face.
We need to get as many women in our
business because I think they make
great workers."
Pitter-Duncan said there's a great
misconception that women can't physically handle the job of servicing or
repairing cars.
"Being a female, there's a lot of hesitance with males wanting to work with
you because they feel you can't pick
up anything heavier than a makeup
brush," she s.
"When I entered the TTC it was the
complete opposite. I was welcomed
with open arms. Within a week I was
already pulling [the frames of] vehicles. I was learning how to bang out
dents, how to weld. I've already learned
the basics of how to paint vehicles. It's
been really nice working there."
- ANC

Tahnee Pitter-Duncan, a 20-year-old Toronto Transit Commission autobody
apprentice, told a panel at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in
February that she has found good pay and interesting work.
PHOTO: MARCUS OLENIUK



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2

Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 28
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 29
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 30
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 31
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 32
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