Grad named best in Canada

Aaron Higgins wins Acura Canada’s top honour in national skills competition

Grad named best in Canada

Aaron Higgins, Acura Canada’s Top Technician

“Aaron has been a great addition to Atlantic Acura. He has a work ethic and maturity beyond his years. His passion, drive, and respect for his trade and our company make him a very easy employee to manage.” ~ Troy Bennett, Fixed Operations Manager, Atlantic Acura

Fast Fact

Registration as an apprentice following graduation from NSCC’s Automotive Service & Repair program is required in order to become certified to work in the trade. Apprentices are supervised in the workplace by a certified journeyperson who shares their time, knowledge, skills, encouragement, and constructive feedback.

With his boss, and his boss’s boss looking on, Aaron Higgins says it was NSCC Instructor Laird Allen’s voice he heard in his head as he clinched the title of Acura Canada’s Top Technician at a national skills competition in Toronto.

“He always emphasized how important diagnostic abilities would be in the trade, and how it’d make you more valuable as a technician,” says Aaron of his shop instructor’s words of wisdom. He adds, “He was able to create a learning environment where there was mutual respect and lots of opportunity for challenges.”

Aaron seized the opportunity.

Once he graduated from Automotive Service & Repair, Aaron completed his apprenticeship at the family-owned Atlantic Acura in Halifax, where he also achieved his Red Seal. After much hard work, Aaron says he soon attained his Acura Platinum Designation—a milestone that qualified him to compete in Acura Canada’s Annual National Technical Skills Competition.

Aaron credits Anthony Gray—the former Shop Foreman for Atlantic Acura who mentored him during his apprenticeship—with helping him develop the skills necessary to achieve the important designation and develop the professional confidence he needed to compete.

Competing on a national level

Arriving in Toronto in July, Aaron says that he felt prepared for the challenge. “My experience at NSCC provided me with a foundation of knowledge and skills that I was able to build on to become a proficient technician.” Drawing on the hands-on instruction gained at NSCC, as well as during his apprenticeship, Aaron easily passed two qualifying rounds before moving on to the final test.

“There were five technicians competing—from all across Canada,” explains Aaron. “We were each given a vehicle with the same five faults and two hours to find them and fix them—to Acura standard.”

As he sat with the other anxious competitors that night at an awards dinner, Aaron says he felt pretty good about his chances of taking home the title. “I finished first, but it was as much about technique and following procedures.”

Taking home the prize

“Aaron always wants to improve and succeed in his field,” says Troy Bennett, Fixed Operations Manager, Atlantic Acura. “His motivation to learn and be better at his job is the key factor in winning the award. We’re very proud of Aaron winning this competition and representing himself and Atlantic Acura so well.”

Aaron says it was a positive experience for someone still early in their career, and that the support he received has been tremendous. “I’ve received tons of congratulations from friends, family and colleagues too.” Of Atlantic Acura, he adds, “They have been so supportive throughout my apprenticeship, and have always encouraged me to further myself through training opportunities.”

As Aaron looks to the future, he is excited about growing his career within a company that offers such support. “I hope to continue working in my current position as Shop Foreman at Atlantic Acura for years to come—and perhaps moving on to management, teaching, field engineering.” The consummate learner, Aaron adds, “I’ll also continue to take advantage of any training opportunities that come my way, and I’m excited to learn about new technologies being introduced in the trade.”  

14/11/16

“Aaron has been a great addition to Atlantic Acura. He has a work ethic and maturity beyond his years. His passion, drive, and respect for his trade and our company make him a very easy employee to manage.” ~ Troy Bennett, Fixed Operations Manager, Atlantic Acura

Fast Fact

Registration as an apprentice following graduation from NSCC’s Automotive Service & Repair program is required in order to become certified to work in the trade. Apprentices are supervised in the workplace by a certified journeyperson who shares their time, knowledge, skills, encouragement, and constructive feedback.

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