Summer 2018/19 High Performance Magazine



Moving into its fifth year, the TOPGUN apprentice and trainee recruitment program is going from strength to strength. HR Mentor Matt Duffy explains that the calibre of candidates continues to improve, with benefits seen across the Hutcheon & Pearce group.

Recruitment for Hutcheon & Pearce is a 12-month process. Our service departments host multiple TOPGUN hopefuls for a week, giving them a chance to experience a day in the life of our service technicians.

As our HR Mentor Matt Duffy explains, this allows applicants to see if the career is for them, and for Hutcheon & Pearce staff to assess their work ethic and attitude towards the business.

“The lead up to Recruitment Day is an all-round team effort from the HR team, Marketing team and the branches who host the school students for work experience.

“I am very appreciative of the branches service departments for hosting the students for the week. It does put a bit of pressure on the teams to keep someone so young and green safe, but they manage well.

“Recruitment Day itself held in September, is next-level when it comes to interviewing apprentices. There are common interviews they all attend which include branch-specific interviews, mechanical comprehension tests and teamwork challenges to complete. This rigorous process takes a big effort from the whole H&P team and in my opinion, this year’s recruitment process was the best yet.”

Matt said the application numbers for TOPGUN continue to grow, as does the calibre of applicants.

“I think the reason for the growth in numbers is our hard work paying off. We visit around 20 schools a year, attend all career expos within our area, attend Ag Vision at Junee High and have a big push at the Henty Field Days.

“We decided to recruit for a little bit of extra maturity and this year was the highest ratio of Year 12 leavers to any other age group.

“With TOPGUN, we are after a special kind of apprentice. The right attitude, great work ethic and the drive to be the best they can be is a must. This is now common knowledge across the state, and that’s why the calibre of our applicants is improving.”

Nine mechanical apprentices and two parts apprentices have been appointed with one position yet to be filled.

“Unfortunately, the weather determines a lot of things in this industry and one of those was our intake this year, so our numbers are slightly down on last year.

“We are still looking to fill the position in Coleambally branch, which is a prime opportunity for the right person with a great shed, great people and the best local pub schnitties in NSW!”

To the 2019 recruits, Matt has a clear message: “Be prepared to learn. You will be pushed to become the best tradie you can be. Work hard, listen hard and watch hard, as watching and listening are two of the most important things a first year apprentice can do.

“Remember, it’s not all about being a mechanic. Watch your coaching tech’s attitudes and actions in front of their managers, their fellow techs and their customers. Most importantly, watch how your coaching Tech conducts his paperwork. A $30,000 invoice needs a $30,000 job description!

“There is something I refer to as being the ultimate tradesman. A person can be the most technically-minded tradesman in the world but if you can’t speak to customers, be a quality human being or make good decisions, you’ll never find the pathway to the ultimate tradesman.”

HR Mentor, Matt Duffy

Graduating class – best of the best

A big congratulations to the 2018 class of apprentices.

Matt Duffy describes the skill level from this year’s graduating class as second to none.

“Hutcheon & Pearce changed its attitude towards apprenticeships four years ago when we realised apprenticeships are our responsibility. I firmly believe this is the catalyst behind everything the apprentices are now achieving.

“Between the way we train our apprentices, the growth of the specialised TAFE training facility and the fantastic teaching staff at TAFE, they are coming out the best of the best.”

Evan, Andrew, Aaron and Michael from Griffith branch will be offered positions, as will Vaughn from Finley and Luke from Forbes, while Ben from Narrandera/Wagga, Matt from Narrandera/Wagga and Lachlan from Condobolin have all moved on from H&P and we wish them well.

“To all you lads, massive congratulations for committing and pushing yourselves to be where you are now. Look back to where you came from to help understand what you have achieved. Now look forward, set some new goals and hook in again.”



View the full Summer 2018/19 High Performance Magazine here: