Komatsu scouting for tech-savvy apprentices

The technicians will join more than 3000 people already working for the company. The structured campaign plans to identify and provide “upskilling opportunities” for “highly capable technicians” to be part of the machinery sector, including the area of intelligent machines.

Colin Shaw, Komatsu Australia’s executive general manager of people and strategy, said the days of machinery technicians being reliant on a spanner and mechanical tools were giving way to “a more innovative technology future”.

“Mobile technology is the new tool of choice for troubleshooting diagnosis and improving the productivity of our intelligent machines,” Shaw added.

Likeminded industries

Komatsu has identified the military, marine and aeronautic sectors as well as the passenger vehicle, and light and heavy commercial vehicle markets, as catchment areas for potential candidates.

{{quote-A:R-W:275-I:2-Q:"Mobile technology is the new tool of choice for trouble shooting diagnosis and improving the productivity of our intelligent machines." -who:Colin Shaw, Executive GM of People and Strategy, Komatsu Australia}}While suitable candidates are being offered careers close to their homes to ensure a “work-life balance”, the multinational company also has future “global opportunities” for the recruits.

The recruitment drive is being conducted in regional areas to overcome industry negatives of family dislocation and concerns about job longevity which are traditionally associated with FIFO operations.

It follows an upturn in construction, utilities and mining that has left the industry with a skills shortage of younger technicians.

The company also runs an in-house training academy across a multitude of applications, including new high technology machinery and business programs.

Komatsu, through its GPS-based KOMTRAX system, SMARTCONSTRUCTION concept and aspects of its information communications technology (ICT) protocols, is renowned globally for its high standards in technology-based solutions.

Embracing diversity

There is also the intention to create a truly inclusive and diverse workforce which will collectively work towards creating new and innovative ideas to sustain Komatsu into the future. Increasing its female workforce is a key part of Komatsu’s diversity and business growth strategy.

Alex Henley-Baker, 25, a qualified jeweller has made a complete career switch to become a first year Komatsu electrical apprentice.

"Electrical engineering has become the future of all industry," she said.

"A Komatsu qualification allows me to go anywhere in the world, most likely with the same company," Henley-Baker said.

Shaw reiterated this point. “Skills gained in the Komatsu system are valued in the open market and are transferable to other occupations, although it is our intention not to lose people we've trained," he said.

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