From Brisbane to California, Light Vehicle Mechanical Apprentice Mikaela Lawrence is currently on a visit of observation at Fletcher Jones Motorcars – a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Newport Beach.
The trip is funded by Skilling Australia Foundation, and is a chance for 23-year-old Mikaela to gain insight into how Mercedes-Benz operates internationally.
Mikaela says her passion for cars came from a spark within her. Attending drag races and other similar events further fuelled her passion, and she decided to pursue a career in the automotive industry.
After completing a pre-apprenticeship automotive course at TAFE, Mikaela applied for an apprenticeship at Mercedes-Benz Brisbane. She is now in her second year.
Mikaela works on Mercedes-Benz vans specifically, with her daily tasks including basic servicing, cooling systems, and water pumps among other things. With the support of the five other mechanics in her workshop, she is learning more about diagnostics and further technical areas.
Mikaela says the scholarship is a great opportunity for her to gain new knowledge that she can share with her colleagues in Brisbane.
“I’m enjoying learning about how Mercedes-Benz performs in a different country, and I’m soaking up as much knowledge as I can,” she says.
Mercedes-Benz Brisbane Service Manager Scott Newman says Mikaela’s work ethic and initiative is extremely commendable and is a testament to her.
“The attitude she displays daily is second to none and it is a pleasure having her in the workplace. Her drive and ambition to learn and grow through asking questions and completing training is great to see. Feedback from her TAFE studies are always excellent and she certainly sets a precedent for the other apprentices around her,” Newman says.
WPC Group apprentices working at Australian Mercedes-Benz dealerships have been receiving the Skilling Australia Foundation International Scholarship yearly since 2016.
This year’s other winners include 20-year-old Fearghus Von Prott, from Mercedes-Benz Sydney and 23-year-old Bianka Chiodo, a parts interpreting apprentice at Mercedes-Benz Melbourne.
Mercedes-Benz Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are owned by Lei Shing Hong (LSH) Automobile, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate specialising in retailing vehicles, particularly from Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Lamborghini.