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Unitec | Te Pūkenga automotive graduate selected for top technicians’ competition

  • Hyuandai
    Jae Kim and Bevan Redpath

Unitec Te Pūkenga automotive graduate Jae Kim has been selected as a finalist in the nationwide Hyundai technicians’ competition.

Jae will be one of six Hyundai technicians from throughout Aotearoa New Zealand who will compete in the national final in Auckland in August, with the top competitor winning an all-expenses paid trip to South Korea to take part in the global Hyundai World Skills Olympics in October.   

While studying for his New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering Jae gained some practical experience at the Hyundai Auckland service centre in Greenlane, where he first heard about the national technicians’ competition.

Since completing his certificate in June, Jae has worked for Hyundai full-time as an automotive apprentice.

As part of the competition entry, he had to complete a series of exams over an eight-week period, with the top six scorers selected for the national championships. Finalists will be tested on diagnostic and practical tasks on electric vehicles.

Jae credits the structure of Unitec’s automotive engineering course with equipping him with the skills he needed to secure a job at Hyundai, along with the support and encouragement of the teaching staff.

“The course provided us with practical experience of working with particular types of vehicles and workshops, along with theory sessions which gave us fundamental knowledge about electrical and mechanical automotive systems,” he says.

“Our lecturer Bevan Redpath was exceptional. In all my years of tertiary study, he was the most genuine, committed lecturer who really cares about his students and wants them to do well.

“He also has great leadership, expertise and depth of knowledge -- there wasn’t a single question he couldn’t answer from all the students for the duration of the course.

“He has become a great mentor to me and inspired me to plan the goals which I want to achieve in the future, including competing in the Hyundai World Skills Olympics.

“He has helped me hugely in my preparation.”

Bevan represented New Zealand in the Hyundai World Skills Olympics in South Korea in 2013.

“I’m very honoured to be one of the finalists and am looking forward to the competition,” jae says..

“This’ll be a great experience, but in the meantime, I’ve been completely pre-occupied after work going through more than 600 pages of Hyundai training materials in preparation!

“The technicians at work have also been very supportive and have helped me familiarise myself with the workings of the brand, and I’m very grateful for their knowledge and expertise.”