ON THE HUNT – Collision Repair Magazine

Comments with a fix

When Alex Mitrevski worked in a collision center in high school, his superiors made sure that any mistake he made was fixed by his own hand. His colleagues never got angry or threw wrenches at him. Instead, they offered solutions or suggestions.

“If the technician sees you doing something wrong, he has to show you the right way. Sometimes they won’t tell you it’s wrong until it’s completely done, then they’ll go fix it themselves. When you ask how they did it, they’ll tell you they did it with magic,” says Mitrevski.

Remuneration matters

A newcomer to the collision industry, Navida Persuad says she wants to learn, but knowledge won’t pay the bills.

“The apprenticeships are extremely beneficial,” she says. “For some, unpaid work is literally impossible. Being mentored isn’t enough – even an occasional assistant has bills and a family. There are people who cannot afford to work without being paid. »

“Even an apprentice needs to be paid a living wage to support himself and his family,” says Jessica Carter, vice president of Colourworks Autobody. “Even if they’re fresh out of high school, just helping to remove bumpers or clean up, they add value to the team.”

everything is fair

For women, working in a male-dominated environment can be particularly risky. Beyond the physical aspect of the job, some employers, knowingly or unknowingly, have a workplace that is hostile to women.

“When I tell people I work in the body shop, the reactions are mixed,” says Persuad. “Reactions from women are empowering, but some men just ask, ‘why?'” Kennelly says he sees the same stereotypes as a professional teacher.

“Some people just don’t have the workplace filter and speak in inappropriate language. Some of the female students feel really nervous about working in a male-dominated field,” Jesse said.

Ultimately, almost all of these issues can be resolved by a boss who is involved and familiar with the events on the ground.

“I was nervous initially in collision repair, especially as a woman,” said Taylor Sparling, body assistant at Right Drive. “I was lucky that my workplace was extremely supportive. [President and CEO of RightDrive] Michael Kent is very personal, which was key to my experience. For me, it’s hugely beneficial for the owner to understand how things work in the field,” Sparling said.

“It’s up to the shop management to maintain communications, leadership and a strong camaraderie. It’s important to have a coaching relationship,” says Jessica. “At the end of our journey, we could have a very valuable team member.”