By Keri Algar
SYDNEY, NSW: Fisher and Paykel is reinforcing its excellent service record reputation by initiating an apprentice program catered specifically for appliance servicing of household electrical items.
Similar four-year apprenticeship TAFE courses only skim over sections concerned with household appliance repairs, according to Grant Pearson, Fisher and Paykel national technical manager.
“Our apprentice program solely focuses on appliance servicing and repairs which is excellent news for students interested in an appliance servicing career as well as consumers who will benefit from far more specialised service technicians,” Pearson said.
Currently there are 32 students enrolled in the nationwide programme. Pearson confirmed that the training is not specific to Fisher and Paykel products, though students will be trained in the future in the new linear compressor technology that the New Zealand company recently revealed. This also means the students will be tuned into Haier refrigeration technology, which is distributed in Australia by Fisher and Paykel. Haier products receive the same customer service by Fisher and Paykel customer care franchise technicians.
The four-year course is competency based and flexible, meaning students can potentially gain a Certificate III in Appliance Servicing within three years. Pearson is said he would be lobbying for the programme to be a national standard as a way of eliminating “dodgy tradies.”
“We believe this program, in conjunction with more stringent licensing requirements will dramatically increase the standard of Australian appliance technicians and I am proud that Fisher & Paykel is being such a pioneer in the industry,” Mr Pearson said.
While some analysts predict the fast pace of technological change encourages consumers to purchase new goods rather than repair them – 500 repairman jobs are tipped to be lost in the next 5 years – Pearson said consumers are switching on to economic and environmental savings as well as pointing out the demand for household appliance repairmen in rural areas where ‘mum and dad’ operations need an injection of new blood to keep the business operating.
“Consumers are a lot smarter and wiser and with particular regard to the environment – buying a new washing machine and throwing it out two years later is not very good for the environment.”