“Students learn a set of skills and theories at Centennial College. They then get a chance to practice these tasks in the real environment,” sums up Peter Lokun a professor in the Ford technician training program at Centennial College. Although it may sound simplistic, this combination of in-school sessions and time with an employer is designed to ensure that students are ready for the field upon graduation. Officially known as the Automotive Service Technician Ford Company of Canada Limited Asset (MAP 32) Apprenticeship, this undertaking takes one year to complete and is conducted from the province’s largest transportation training centre, Ashtonbee Campus. It is fully equipped with real cars that have been donated to the school by Ford as well as all the latest tools that students will find in the field upon graduation.
The Ford technician training is more in-depth than a traditional apprenticeship. This ensures that students become experts in the field by focusing on the latest Ford technology such as: electronics, transmission, engines, air conditioning, supplemental restraint systems and the diagnosing of vehicle management systems. In addition, the program teaches Ford specialties that, in the past, students had to attend Ford school to obtain. These specialties are: engines, electrical, brakes and climate control.
Every four weeks, students in the Ford Technician training alternate between the College and their employer for a total of 64 weeks (32 weeks with each). While with an employer these future Ford technicians, work alongside professionals to gain additional knowledge and apply what they have already learned. They also get to experience dealing with real customers and become familiar with situations that they may encounter in the field. Centennial College favours an earn-while-you-learn approach and students are compensated for their work. In addition, students may be eligible for employment insurance during the in-class training.
Students who are interested in obtaining Centennial College’s Ford Technician Training must have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or a General Education Diploma or equivalent. A Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd. Dealership must also employ the applicant. Successful applicants must obtain an employer and then register as a MAP apprentice with the Apprenticeship Branch of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Acceptance is based on successful completion of all entry requirements. Limited space is available in each program. Please note that candidates may apply directly to Centennial College for this Ford technician training.
In 2002, there were approximately 818,000 automotive service technicians employed in positions in the United States alone. Duties of automotive service technicians include: writing vehicle damage repair estimates, repairing broken or worn mechanical components, maintaining repair and service records, installing equipment, components and systems, testing vehicles both before and after repair, and repairing electrical wiring, circuits and fixtures.