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Helping guide our apprentices

Passion will lead you towards a career, but it is the support you receive along the way that ensures the career is successful. Automotive and marine trimming trainer Neil Hancock sees his field in a similar way.

"I try to be passionate about the things I love and I really do love this industry," he says. "I love working with these young people to become the industry leaders we so desperately need."

Neil (pictured right) found his calling in motor trimming at a young age and has since devoted himself to preparing apprentices to work confidently in the industry. Neil originally enjoyed working on cars, but decided to look into upholstery and trimming on the advice of a careers advisor. Now he is determined to help young students as they explore their interests.

"We're here to guide these apprentices in to the industry. We're trying to create quality citizens for the industry and the community. I'm still doing it 40 years later and loving it just the same."

Neil brings a wealth of industry experience to the Holmesglen workshop and encourages students to follow their creativity and achieve their goals. The course offers apprentices the chance to work on a range of seats, upholstery, linings, interior trim and floor coverings. Equally, the career streams present them with the opportunity to work on a range of vehicles, which include cars and trucks, trains, boats and aircrafts.

"This is a playground for them. We've got all the fancy tools and beautiful materials. We want them to set the world on fire."

Holmesglen recognises the hard-work of its apprentices at an official awards ceremony each year. In 2016, apprentices were also invited to compete at the annual WorldSkills national competition, which saw them test their skills under industry conditions. The Institute has also welcomed various industry organisations for workshop and networking days.

Outside of Holmesglen, Neil runs his own business at the St Kilda marina. He has presented his industry insights to international audiences, including being invited to talk to marine fabricators at an Industrial Fabrics Association International event in San Francisco.

However, the main focus stays the same. Neil's greatest joy comes from helping Holmesglen apprentices enter the field and succeed with their work.

"Someone gave me an opportunity and I've given people opportunities in my business life. I'd like to impress on other business owners that it is your duty to do the same.

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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