Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year, Brenden Williamson (right), and NRL legend Alan Tongue (left) have endorsed the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Genuine is Best initiative

Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year, motorcycle technician Brenden Williamson, has endorsed the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Genuine is Best initiative, which highlights the safety, performance and durability benefits delivered by genuine replacement parts.

Competing against a field of over 200 school-based trainees from around the country, Brenden was judged best-of-the-best for 2015 and has been appointed as a national ambassador for Australian Apprenticeships.

Now working full-time at On Two Wheels Motorsports, an authorised Kawasaki and Yamaha dealer in Campbelltown NSW, Brenden said his training and work experience have reinforced the benefits of using genuine parts for repair and maintenance servicing.

“We can rely on genuine parts for durability because we know they’ve been designed by the bike’s maker to do the job they need to. It’s a safety issue,” Brenden said.

“Genuine parts are also a lot easier to fit because they’re made for that bike, and we know it’s up to the job when it leaves the workshop,” he said.

Now in their 22nd year, the Australian Training Awards, presented by the federal Department of Education and Training, are the peak national awards for the vocational education and training sector, recognising individuals, businesses and training organisations.

Commenting on Brenden’s endorsement, FCAI Genuine Is Best spokesperson Ashley Wells said high training standards go hand-in-hand with a focus on safety and quality.

“As Brenden’s comments have made clear, only genuine parts are manufactured or selected by a car or bike’s maker, and tested as one of its integral components to meet high quality, safety and performance standards,” Ashley said.

At the same time, another Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador with an automotive background has given Genuine Is Best an emphatic thumbs-up.

Canberra Raiders NRL legend and former apprentice Alan Tongue gained his Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology while playing in the top grade for rugby league’s ‘Green Machine’.

In a career spanning 12 seasons and 220 first-grade matches, the tough-tackling forward studied part time, with employer training at what is now Rolfe Motors (formerly Scuderia Veloce Motors) in Phillip, in Canberra’s southern suburbs.

“I worked on a range of brands, including Volvo and Chrysler, and customers came to us because we were a trusted supplier of genuine parts. We knew they were coming for quality and assurance,” Alan said.

“There were a number of cases where clients had been elsewhere to get their cars fixed, trying to save a few bucks on parts, but they got burnt in the long run. Even if they’re out of warranty, I still take my cars back to the dealer for service,” he said.

Having retired from football in 2011, Alan splits his time between his role as an ambassador for Australian Apprenticeships, a mentor with the NRL’s Trading Up program (which focuses on increasing the retention and completion rates of apprentices involved in rugby league), football commentary for ABC Radio, and last but not least, his Mentoring Thru Fitness program.

Now entering his second year of Certificate III study, Brenden Williamson’s post-award schedule is also packed with extra-curricular activity.

As well as working full-time with On Two Wheels Motorsports, Brenden manages to juggle his role as an Apprenticeships Australia Ambassador with mentoring new recruits to the Yamaha Student Grand Prix Partnership, a program which aims to connect school students and younger people in the community with a workplace or business, and helped set up Brenden’s employer relationship.

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