WITH businesses tightening their belts at the end of the boom, there are less places around Gladstone for apprentices.

But Anderson's Auto City was so overwhelmed with an influx of applications that seven apprentices have been hired this year.

The Gladstone car dealership and service centre has only taken on two to three apprentices annually in the past.

Dealer principal Les Anderson said apprentices were important for the future of the town.

"It's really important for Gladstone to be bringing young people through and give them a trade," he said.

"They are so important for tomorrow. We have over 30 mechanics and apprentices here."

Mr Anderson said in the dealership's 62-year history, several apprentices would stay for the long term.

"So many have gone on to their own shops in town, which grows the city," he said.

Mr Anderson said it was more difficult to become a motor mechanic these days because of the dominance of electronics in cars.

"Guys with a good knowledge of computers that want to get their hands around wires make for good diagnosticians," he said.

"Two of our guys are going to Brisbane once a month, through the Mazda apprenticeship program, which is a strong training program."

He said each apprentice worked with another mechanic who had plenty of experience.

"I'm really impressed with every one of them," he said.

"I think we've had the best pick, which was narrowed down from 100-odd applications."



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