The Motor Trade Assn. of South Australia opens a A$2.7 million ($2.69 million) facility to meet the growing demand for world-class automotive service training facilities in the state.

The MTA Group Training Scheme is the largest single employer of apprentices in South Australia with more than 500 young people being trained and then hosted with industry employers.

The MTA-GTS offers specialist training across all trades in the auto industry, at both the apprenticeship and traineeship levels.

With state and federal funding and the occasional donation of vehicles such as an ex-state government fleet Toyota Prius to be used as training aids, MTA-GTS is able to continue its almost 30-year tradition of providing training and helping students reach their career goals, says Chairman Colin Clark.

“Industry partnerships are crucial and play an integral part of the development of training programs to give course participants the best education and training options available,” he says in a statement.

The workshop highlights the MTA’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact, boasting a 49-ft. (15-m) ventilated truck pit equipped with a fully ducted ventilation system; eight overhead vehicle hoists; an all-wheel-drive dynamometer and 4-bay drive facility for truck repairs and maintenance.

It also features additional training areas to expand post-trade knowledge on hybrid and electric vehicles and a new 10-bay welding area for welding and fabrication training, essential for semi-truck trailer maintenance and manufacture.

The facility also incorporates the third-largest rooftop solar power system in South Australia, with 439 solar panels producing about 150 megawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power the full 7.4-acre (3-ha) complex.

Rainwater harvesting facilities include a 66,045 gallon (250,000 L) underground tank to be used for vehicle detailing and garden maintenance.