Too often young people find that the costs of tools restricts them from entering apprenticeship and doing the work they love – working on cars.
Recognizing the need to address that issue, the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA), has provided initial funding for a “Recycle Your Tools” initiative that will help in proposal writing and research of this unique program.
The goal is to remove barriers from becoming a worker or apprentice in the motive power trades.
The program, recommended by the Hamilton District Autobody Repair Association (HARA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO), will involve a charitable tax receipt that is issued for hand tools donated by retiring techs, closing dealerships or shops.
When fully operational, students enrolled in Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) or Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) courses will catalogue, inventory and web place the tools and make them available at no charge or reduced costs to students entering apprenticeship or workplace environments. There are plans to provide tools to employers to be offered as retention bonuses, where apprentices could keep their employer-donated tools if they stayed at the repair facility for a specified time frame.
This planned initiative answers an industry need identified in the latest CARS Council sectoral report and should help increase the number of young people and apprentices entering the automotive repair and automotive recycling industries.
OARA is providing the funding to the Industry Education Council of Hamilton through the Retire Your Ride vehicle retirement program. Members donate a portion of the proceeds from each vehicle to charity with total charitable donations exceeding $1 million dollars in the final two years of that program.
This initiative from the three largest grass-roots automotive trade associations follows on the heels of five workshops offered in southern Ontario by the three groups and highlights a growing positive relationship within the grass-roots organizations toward better co-operation to help industry and better serve the public.