Gates will give apprentices across Australia the chance to enjoy a VIP Supercars experience in 2023.
During 2022, a pilot program was launched in partnership with Repco Authorised Service (RAS), where apprentice mechanics were encouraged to submit a short video explaining why they decided to become an automotive mechanic. Winning submissions were then rewarded with a VIP Supercars experience at the Gold Coast 500 event. The apprentices were treated to the full corporate hospitality experience in the Penrite Racing corporate suite, including Supercar driver meet and greets, pit tours and team merchandise packs.
After the success of the initial pilot, Gates launched the same program with RAS apprentices in South Australia. The apprentices were treated to a day at VALO Adelaide 500 street circuit, with one lucky apprentice getting the opportunity to experience a hot lap around in the Ford Mustang Safety Car.
Following the overwhelming success of the promotion, Gates will again be running the program during 2023 with winning apprentices having the opportunity to attend the Newcastle 500, Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Perth SuperSprint, Tasmania SuperSprint and Darwin Triple Crown.
In addition, Gates will also be launching a Repco Bathurst 1000 experience, with all apprentice videos submission putting them in the running to attend the Great Race.
“The initial idea for this program evolved from an initial approach by a RAS Business Specialist who was looking to take some apprentices to the Gold Coast 500 event as part of the RAS workforce development initiatives and hoped Gates may be able to assist with some merchandise or general admission ticketing,” said Priscilla Robb, marketing manager of Gates Australia Pty Ltd.
“From there we have turned this into a national program to recognise, reward and educate the apprentices who are the future of the Australia Automotive Aftermarket Industry.
“Being able to host the apprentice provides Gates the opportunity to educate & promote our brand at the grass root levels, and it is so rewarding to see many of them experiencing the excitement of a Supercars event in a corporate suite.”
National manager for the RAS program, Peter Rogers, who is also a board member of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association, expressed his gratitude to Gates Australia for supporting skills development in the industry.
“Skills shortage is a critical issue, and we are actively seeking initiatives and partnerships that will help enhance our workforce,” he said.
“From a simple request for help, Gates have stepped up to throw their full support behind our efforts and we are extremely grateful for their ongoing commitment to RAS and to the trade more broadly.”