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Automotive Trades



Orientation 9
Overview 11
Occupations 17
The Workplace 27
Workplace Law in Ontario 35
Certification, Training, and Experience 47

Terminology 55
Terminology for Tools and Auto Parts 57
Occupational Terminology 65
Communication in the Workplace 73
Communication in the Community 83
Personal Plan 91
Glossary 97
The Steps to Employment project was made possible with funding from Citizenship and Immigration
Canada—Ontario Administration of Settlement and Integration Services (CIC—OASIS).
LCRT Consulting researched each sector, designed the curriculum, developed the materials,
conducted consultations and focus groups, and coordinated pilot tests of the workshop materials.
Many individuals and organizations were involved throughout the project. Thanks to all who provided
input and support, in particular the focus group participants who shared examples of their own
experiences in accessing employment in Ontario.
March 2001

AlphaPlus Katherine Babiuk

Web Site Host Program Consultant
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Alvin Ng Ontario Administration of Settlement and Integration Services
Editor (OASIS)
Sam SanFilippo Brigid Kelso
Job Start CAWL Principal Writer
ESL Reviewer
Peggie Shek
Intellisearch, Toronto Public Library Project Manager
Media and Literature Research LCRT Consulting
Kaoli Hanawa Andrea Strachan
Illustrator Curriculum Design/Senior Consultant
LCRT Consulting
Kate George
Editor Bruce Russell
Curriculum Design/Senior Consultant
Kathleen Doe
LCRT Consulting
Web Site Designer and Webmaster
Monika Etzler
Kevin Cheng
Toronto District School Board,LINC Program
Graphic Designer
Outreach and Recruitment Consultant
Supercat Illustrations
Sam SanFilippo
Louise Thomas
Focus Group Facilitator
Internet Research
Job Start CAWL
Trudy Kennell
Focus Group Location
Editorial Board

The information in the Steps to Employment series was researched, collected and written in 1999-
2001 by LCRT Consulting under contract with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Some of the
information may change in time. Please consult the contacts listed for the most current information.
The Steps to Employment workshop manuals are strictly for use in non-commercial, not-for-profit
educational environments.
Steps to Employment in Ontario Where do you begin?

You just arrived in Ontario and want to

practise an automotive trade. These are
some of the first steps that you need to

Know your sector – employers, working

conditions, and entry-level qualifications.

Know your job-related traits – be able to

describe your skills, knowledge and

Know sector-specific terminology – be

able to discuss your occupation with others.

Know what credentials are required and

how to translate and evaluate your

Know where to get training, upgrading and

help finding a job.
In this workshop
you will learn about…
; labour market trends in the automotive service sector
; employers in the automotive sector, how they hire, and what they are looking for in
their workers
; working conditions in the automotive service sector, including wages, duties and
; laws that protect workers in Ontario
; basic health and safety issues in the automotive service sector
; vocabulary for the automotive service sector
; how to write a multiple choice exam.

You will also practise…

; basic dialogues for conversations with automotive service technicians
; describing your skills and knowledge
; getting information from various sources
; pronunciation of key words for the automotive service sector

… and prepare…
; a personal plan for your next step to employment in Ontario.
Icons used in the workbook
Exercises in the workbook are headed by the following icons. These icons indicate the type
of activity intended by the exercise.




Pair Discussion

Group Discussion


Workshop introduction INTERVIEW
Steps to Employment

Interview your partner

Ask your partner the following questions. Write down the answers in complete sentences.
Once you have finished, prepare to introduce yourself to the group using the answers on
your partner’s sheet.

1. What is your name?

2. Where are you from?
3. How long have you been in Canada?
4. What is your occupation?
5. How many years’ experience do you have?
6. What do you know about becoming an automotive tradesperson in Canada?
7. Why are you taking this workshop?
8. What do you hope to learn from this workshop?


The Workplace
Workplace Law

Certification, Training, and Experience

Steps to Employment 9
10 Steps to Employment

In this unit you will learn about

automotive trades in Ontario
trends in the automotive industry

Automotive trades in Ontario

The automotive repair and service industry is very important to Ontario’s economy. In fact,
more people work in Ontario’s repair and service industry than in all of the other provinces
Most of these workers are employed as automotive service technicians, auto body repairers
and auto painters. They work for motor vehicle repair shops, automobile (foreign and
domestic) dealerships, motor vehicle manufacturers, gasoline service stations, trucking
companies, public transit commissions, as well as automotive and auto parts manufacturers.
Provincial licences are required to work as an automotive service technician (AST) and auto
body repairer. These are called restricted occupations. A licence is not required, however, to
become an auto body painter. In Ontario, it takes between four and five years to become
licensed as an AST, two to three years to become an auto body repairer, and almost two years
to become a painter. Licences are not required for the last two occupations, but employers
sometimes ask for them.
As vehicle systems become more complex, so do the skills and equipment required to
diagnose and service them. Body materials and paint are also becoming more complex.
Corrosion-resisting body materials such as treated plastics and steels, are increasing the life
of vehicles. Computers are used to customize the colour of body paints, which can sometimes
even prevent damage from the sun.

Activity 1: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor. Mark the syllable stress in these words, then practise saying each
corrosion resisting diagnose
automotive vehicle technicians

Steps to Employment 11
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 2: Fill in the blanks

Use the words in the reading above to fill in the blanks.

1. _________-__________ auto materials protect cars from rust caused by road salt.

2. ASTs _______________ cars to identify the problem like doctors do with patients.

3. Cars made in North America are called ______________.

4. Cars made outside of North America are called___________________.

Activity 3:True or false

Circle T for true or F for false beside the following statements.
T F 1. Automotive service technicians and auto body repairers make up about 67% of
all of the auto tradespeople in Ontario.
T F 2. Ontario employs as many auto tradespeople as in all of the other provinces
T F 3. It can take five years to become an automotive service technician.
T F 4. It takes at least three years to become an auto body painter and at least two
years to become an auto body repairer.

Activity 4: Interview
Take turns with a partner finding out the requirements for whichever one of the three jobs
mentioned, where they last worked. Compare your findings with the rest of the class.

12 Steps to Employment

Employment opportunities in the auto industry go in cycles, depending on the demand for
vehicles by consumers all across North America. Ontario is now in a cycle of rapid growth
that began during the early 1990s.
New technologies are improving vehicle performance. Cars will become “smarter” or more
high-tech, using a number of computers and electrical devices. Lighter materials, electronics
and the use of computerized robotics on the assembly line are changing the skills required in
the automotive industry. Today, many cars have body parts made of steel alloys, aluminium
and plastics – materials that are more difficult to work with than the old steel body parts, and
which require longer repair time.
The introduction of Computerized Numeric Control (CNC) and Computer-Aided
Manufacturing (CAM) have revolutionized the industry. Also, the requirement of major auto
producers that all suppliers meet quality certification standards starting in 1997 has resulted
in an increased focus on the shop floor for workers in these occupations.
The trend is away from manual skills and toward skills necessary to monitor and manage
production processes. This trend puts an emphasis on literacy skills to read computer print-
outs, the ability to use a computer, and teamwork. Jobs should be good for automotive body
repairer and painters and auto service technicians until about 2008.
Source: HRDC Job Futures, 2000

Activity 5: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words, and mark the syllable stress. Then practise
saying each one aloud.
manual manufacturers repairers
emphasis revolutionized robotics

Activity 6: Matching
Match each word to its definition by writing the correct letter in the blank space.

1. __ revolutionized a) fast
2. __ robotics b) focus
3. __ emphasis c) using tools, not computers
4. __ manual d) watch for changes
5. __ cycles e) machines doing things that used to be done by
6. __ rapid humans

7. __ monitor f) patterns
g) changed a lot

Steps to Employment 13
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 7: Comprehension
1. What have been the biggest changes in the car repair and service industry in the last ten
2. How does this affect automotive tradespeople preparing to work in Ontario?

Activity 8: Interviews
Take turns with your partner asking each other how Ontario industry trends compare with
those in the country where he or she last worked in. Report your findings to the whole class.

Mechanics need more skills than ever

As vehicle systems become increasingly complex, so do the skills and equipment required to
diagnose and service them. But keeping automotive service technicians up-to-date with
technology is not the biggest problem facing the automotive service industry.
“The number one problem,” according to a spokesperson from the Canadian Automotive
Repair and Service Council (CARS), “is attracting the right kind of people, and enough of
them, into the service trade.”
Earning an AST licence takes a long time – longer than for most university degrees – and
those that are successful at it deserve more respect than they are given in our society, he says.
“The days of grease and grime are gone,” he says. “Now automotive technicians are highly
skilled specialists, and good ones are in high demand.” One technician noted that there are
probably more university graduates than licensed mechanics in the unemployment lines.
“Technical ability is no longer enough to succeed,” he says. “Today’s technicians need a
whole different range of skill sets, from improved reading and writing abilities to a
proficiency in interpersonal relationships. And of course, they must be computer literate.”

Activity 9: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words, and mark the syllable stress. Then practise
saying each one aloud.
proficiency literate specialists
skill set grime manually

14 Steps to Employment

Activity 10: Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks with words from the pronunciation activity.

1. If you are good at something, you have __________________ in it.

2. If you understand something you are _________________ in it.

3. Technical, mathematical, written, computer literacy and interpersonal are all examples of
______________________ needed to be an automotive service technician.

4. When grease mixes with dirt, it becomes _______________.

5. Repairs on cars used to done _________________ or with tools, but now they are

Activity 11: Comprehension

a) What new skills are needed by ASTs?
b) What is the biggest problem for the automotive repair and service industry?

Steps to Employment 15
Automotive Trades Workbook

occupation descriptions
look for Ontario Job Futures 2000 at the HRDC Employment Resource
Centre or public library in your area
For more information on…
visit www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/JobFutures/english/volume1/225/225.htm

labour market information


occupational information
Canadian Automobile Repair and Service Council (CARS) www.cars-

16 Steps to Employment

In this unit you will learn about

job descriptions and common titles for automotive tradespeople
You will also practise how to
describe duties at your previous jobs

Automotive service technician

Automotive service technicians inspect, diagnose, repair and service mechanical, electrical
and electronic systems and car, bus and truck parts. They require a licence to practise in

Main Duties
Automotive service technicians perform some or all of the following duties:
• Read work orders and discuss work with supervisor
• Inspect motor in operation, road test motor vehicle, and test automotive systems and
components using testing devices to diagnose faults
• Adjust, repair or replace parts and components of automotive systems including fuel,
brake, steering and suspension systems, transmissions, differentials, drive axles and
shafts, emission control and exhaust systems, engines and electrical, cooling and climate
control systems using hand tools and other specialized automotive repair equipment
• Test and adjust repaired systems to manufacturer’s performance specifications
• Perform scheduled maintenance service, such as oil changes, lubrications and tune ups
• Advise customers on work performed, general vehicle conditions and future repair needs

Automotive service technicians may specialize in one of the following areas:

• Engine and fuel systems
• Transmission systems
• Air conditioning
• Cooling and heating systems
• Brakes
• Drive lines
• Suspension, and
• Electrical and electronic systems

Steps to Employment 17
Automotive Trades Workbook

Other Common Job Titles

automobile mechanic bus mechanic
car mechanic motor repairer – automobile manufacturing
motor vehicle mechanic transmission mechanic
truck mechanic mechanical upgrader – automobile manufacturing

Activity 1: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words, and mark the syllable stress. Then practise
saying each one aloud.
transmission devices faults
shafts suspension differentials
specifications tune up drive lines

Activity 2: Matching
Match each word to its definition by writing the correct letter in the blank space.

1. __ inspect a) problems or weaknesses

2. __ assembled b) planned
3. __ adjust c) put together
4. __ faults d) regular inspection and repair
5. __ specifications e) tools or instruments
6. __ tune up f) change or fix
7. __ devices g) check
8. __ scheduled h) manufacturer’s suggestions

18 Steps to Employment

Activity 3: Fill in the blanks

Use the following words to fill in the blanks in the paragraphs below:

transmission suspension differentials axles

shafts emissions lubrications drive lines

When performing a regular tune up, you have to replace the shock absorbers if the car’s
1._________________is faulty. Also, you may have to make sure the catalytic converter
is working so that the car follows fuel 2._________________standards. Don’t forget to
check the gears and make sure that they are protected by 3. _____________ and that
their 4.______________allow the vehicle to round corners easily.

The 5._______________transmits the power from the engine through the 6.____________
to the car’s gears. The 7.______________, which anchor the wheels, must be checked
when performing an alignment. 8. ________________are also an important part of tune
ups, especially around the brake pads to make sure they don’t squeak.

Activity 4: Comprehension
1. List five duties that ASTs perform.
2. What are three other titles for AST?
3. What was the occupation called in the past?

Activity 5: Interview
Take turns with your partner asking if he or she has ever done any of the AST job duties.
Answer in full sentences. Then ask him or her:
1. What did you specialize in?
2. What verb tense would you use to ask the questions?
3. What tense should you be using to answer the questions?

Steps to Employment 19
Automotive Trades Workbook

Auto body repairer

Auto body repairers repair damaged auto body parts and interior finishing. They include
metal repairers who repair defective automobile body parts and damage to the bodies of new
cars. They do not require a licence to practise in Ontario.
Workers in this occupation do some or all of the following:
• Go over damage reports and estimates of repair cost and plan work to be done
• Repair and replace front end components, body components, doors and frame and under
body components
• Hammer out dents, buckles and other defects using blocks and hammers
• Operate soldering equipment or use plastic filler to fill holes, dent and seams
• Remove damaged fenders, panels and grills using wrenches and cutting torch and bolt
or weld replacement parts into place
• File, grind and sand repaired body surfaces using a grinder and sandpaper
• Repair or replace interior parts, such as seat frame assembly, carpets and floor board
• Check repaired vehicles and test drive vehicles for proper handling

Common Job Titles

automotive body mechanic automotive body technician
body repairer – motor vehicle metal finisher – motor vehicle manufacturing
motor vehicle body technician metal repairer – motor vehicle manufacturing

Activity 6: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words, and mark the syllable stress. Then practise
saying each one aloud.
vehicles interior soldering
repair estimates pulling
parts weld wrenches

20 Steps to Employment

Activity 7: Fill in the blanks

Use the following words to fill in the blanks below:

file sand grind anchoring fenders panels components dents

buckles interior grills wrenches solder weld estimates

1. Auto repairers use a hammer to punch out _____________ and ____________ in side,
rear and front ______________ of a vehicle.

2. Oxy-acetylene torches have traditionally been used to heat or __________parts together

but to _______ involves adding melted metal to join parts together.

3. Another word for parts is ______________.

4. A grinder is a power tool to ________ but the _________(hand tool) can also be used to

5. ____________ are used to turn bolts.

6. An auto repairer must calculate the cost of repairs. This is called making ____________.

7. Below the panels on the car body are the ______________.

8. The outside of the vehicle is called the exterior. The inside is called the __________.

9. The front of vehicles have metal covered vents called _____________.

10. It is important to make sure when you’re working under a hoisted vehicle to have proper
______________ so it does not fall on you.

Activity 8: Comprehension
1. List five duties of auto body repairers.
2. Name three other common titles for auto body repairers.

Steps to Employment 21
Automotive Trades Workbook

Automotive painter
Automotive painters apply finishes to vehicles. They do not require a licence to practise their
trade in Ontario.
Two important trends in the automotive paint world affect this trade. First, paints and primers
now last longer, are stronger and look better on vehicles. Primers are still applied to either
bare metal or plastics, and help the paint bond to the body, but better chemical technology
allows better adhesion.
New paints can even protect cars from the sun’s harmful rays, they stay brighter longer and
are less likely to fade or peel off. It is even possible to match separately-painted body panels
to the rest of the vehicles.
Now paint can be matched using a 3-D colour camera reader connected to a computer to give
the correct shade. Better paints mean that finishes last longer, but, at the same time, car
owners want fancy paints with pearl finishes, which take longer to apply. This means that
while auto painters will have fewer cars to work on, but they will have just as much work to
do, as customized jobs will take longer.

Activity 9: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words, and mark the syllable stress. Then practise
saying each one aloud.
painted primed bond with
adhesion matched fade

Activity 10: Matching

Match each word to its definition by writing the corresponding letter in the blank space.

1. __ primed a) stick to
2. __ primer b) stickiness
3. __ finish c) lighten
4. __ fade d) mixture applied to material before painting that lets
5. __ adhesion paint stick more easily

6. __ bond with e) prepared for painting

f) last coat of paint applied

Activity 11: Comprehension

1. What have been the two big changes in paint technology?
2. What has been the effect of these changes on auto body painters?

22 Steps to Employment

Activity 12 Matching
Match the duty to the job title with an appropriate workplace and an appropriate work task:

1. ___ automotive service a) use computer to find exact colour to match with car
technician exterior
2. ___ automotive body b) operate soldering equipment or use plastic filler to fill
repairer holes, dents and seams
3. ___ automotive body c) work on gear trains, couplings and hydraulic pumps
painter d) use lathes and grinding machines to rebuild brakes
4. ___ transmission e) diagnose problems using hand-held diagnostic
technician computers or compression gauges to identify problems
5. ___ fuel and electrical before making adjustments according to
systems technician manufacturer’s specifications
6. ___ alignment and f) use electronic test equipment to locate and adjust
brakes technician malfunctions in fuel, ignition and emissions control

Activity 13: Matching

Match each word to its definition by writing the corresponding letter in the blank space.

1. ___ exterior a) links connecting two pieces of machinery

2. ___ dents b) lines where two edges join
3. ___ seams c) things or processes that don’t work
4. ___ couplings d) depressions in hard material left by pressure or blow
5. ___ malfunction e) outside

Activity 14: Matching

Match the following duties to the title of either AST (automotive service technician) or ABR
(auto body repairer) or AP (auto body painter).
1. ___ operate soldering equipment or use plastic filler to fill holes, dents and seams
2. ___ advise customers on work performed, general vehicle condition and future repair
3. ___ test and adjust repaired systems to manufacturer’s performance specifications
4. ___ file, grind and sand repaired body surfaces before using spray guns or brush
5. ___ perform scheduled maintenance service, such as oil changes, lubrications and
tune ups
6. ___ hammer out dents, buckles and other defects using blocks and hammers

Steps to Employment 23
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 15: Research

Visit the National Occupation Classification at the Web site on the next page to get
information on the following other automobile trade occupations. Fill in the chart with
information that answers these questions:
Is it a compulsory or voluntary trade?
How many years must you apprentice for?

Voluntary or mandatory How long is the

certification? apprenticeship?

Auto body and collision

damage repairer (BR1)

Auto body repairer

Alignment and brakes


Fuel and electrical

systems technician

Transmission technician

Activity 16 Discussion
In small groups, discuss the following question, then report your answers to the whole class.
1. How do the job titles and duties compare to what you did in another country?
2. What are the differences/similarities?
3. Did you go to school to learn your trade or did you learn it from working only?
4. Which automotive sector trade do you think would do the best during a slow economy?

24 Steps to Employment

job descriptions
For more information on… National Occupation Classification www.on.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca

advice, resources and employment information


job postings on the Internet

job ads from newspapers including:
Electronic Labour Exchange (www.ele-spe.org)

Steps to Employment 25

In this unit you will learn about

working conditions and wages
You will also practise
describing different working conditions
presenting yourself to employers

Working conditions and wages

Workers in the automotive sector have constant year-round work. Most of it is indoors, but
sometimes it is outdoors. Work hazards including noise, vibration, liquids, fumes and odours
are controlled by safety rules.
Automotive sector workers are usually paid on a flat rate basis or by the amount of time
taken to repair a vehicle (they are usually paid a minimum salary, in this case). Full-time
work is 44 hours per week. Some Saturday or overtime work may be required, and workers
must provide their own tools.
Some workers employed by automobile and auto parts manufacturers, trucking companies
and bus lines belong to unions. But the majority of workers do not. About 8% of automotive
tradespeople are self-employed.
Recent statistics show the average wage for automotive service technicians ranging from
$11.50 to $25/hr.; auto body repairers from $11 to $22/hr. and auto body painters from $10
to $20/hr. Helpers and apprentices (trainees) usually earn from 30 to 60 percent of the
earnings of qualified workers. Helpers and trainees usually get an hourly rate, until they are
skilled enough to be paid on a flat rate basis.
Some automotive body repairers are members of unions. They usually work for large
automotive dealers, trucking companies and bus lines.
Source: HRDC Job Futures, 2000

Activity 1: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words. Mark the syllable stress in these words then
practise saying each one.
vibration fumes flat rate
hazard odours year-round

Steps to Employment 27
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 2: Matching
Match each word to its definition by writing the corresponding letter in the blank space.

1. ___ vibration a) constant fee paid for completed job regardless of how long it
2. ___ fumes takes to complete

3. ___ flat rate b) during the entire year

4. ___ odours c) fast, continuous back and forth movement

5. ___ year-round d) smoke, gas, or vapour that smells strongly

6. ___ hazard e) smells

f) something dangerous

Activity 3: Matching
Write the letter from right hand column beside the number in the left column that it defines.

1. ___ full time a) means that you are hired to do a job or a project. when the
2. ___ contract work job or project is finished, so is your employment

3. ___ casual part time b) means that work is not steady, sometimes it may be ten
hours a week, and sometimes 20, depending on how
4. ___ part time much work there is
5. ___ benefits c) means 44 hours a week (in auto industry) and a regular
6. ___ salary schedule, for example, Monday to Friday, 8 to 5 (half-hour
unpaid for lunch)
7. ___ job security
d) refers to the permanence of a job
8. ___ wage
e) is a set number of hours in a day. for example, the day
9. ___ shift work shift is usually from 8AM to 4PM; the afternoon shift is from
10. __ on-call 4 PM to midnight; and the night shift, also called the
“graveyard” shift, is from midnight to 8AM
f) means working only a few hours a week, for example, less
that 25 hours a week, maybe Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday, 10 AM to 3PM
g) regular payments received for work or services, usually
given as an hourly amount
h) insurance paid for by employers to pay for things like pay
for sick days, dental plan and parental leave
i) when the employer phones any time to “call you into work”
j) a payment made by your employer

28 Steps to Employment
The Workplace

Activity 4: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words. Mark the syllable stress in these words then
practise saying each one.
on-call contract wage
Part time shift work benefits
casual salary security

Activity 5: Discussion
1. What are the benefits of working for a union?
2. What are the downsides of working for a union?
3. Do you prefer to work shifts? Why? Why not?

Activity 6: Interview
With a partner, ask and describe to each other the working conditions of your last job. How
were they the same/different to conditions for similar work in Ontario. Talk about the
workplace, hours, method of payment and whether or not it was unionized using the new
vocabulary you have learned in the previous activities.

Job advertisements

? Licensed automotive technician and/or 3rd/4th yr.
app. Rqd. in Kitchener/Waterloo Area. Imp. Exp.
prfd. Full benefits, guar. min. hrs. Fax res.
Attn. John Anthony, 519-123-4567

@ Full-time experienced motor vehicle body repairer.

Must have exp. with specialized skills in steel
bumper repair. Loc. North Bay. Work on a
production line setting. Prosp. Employee must be
exp’d with heavy gauged metals, must be able to
repair all types of stl. and alum. bumpers,
reinforcement bars, semi truck bumpers, as well as
standard vehicle front and rear applns. Knowl. of
Oxy-acy welding req’d. Must be able to work under
pressure. Min. 5 yrs expce. Start $16/hr. Pls frwd
res. to: XYZ Ltd. 10 Main St.

Steps to Employment 29
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 7: Comprehension
1. What do the following mean:

3rd/4th yr. app. rqd.

imp. exp.

prfd. guar. min. hrs.

attn. res.

prosp. pls.

yrs. req’d

knowl. semi

oxy-acy stl.

alum. frwd.

2. Where is Kitchener/Waterloo?
3. Where is North Bay?
4. What do you think full benefits would include?

Activity 8: Employers
Have each member of your group look for as many examples as possible of ONE of the
following employers in the Yellow Pages. Copy the company names onto a piece of paper,
then share the names of the employers you’ve researched with the other members of your
1. independent motor vehicle repair shops
2. specialty repair shop chain
3. motor vehicle manufacturers
4. gasoline service stations + repair shop
5. public transit commissions
6. auto parts manufacturers

30 Steps to Employment
The Workplace

Activity 9: Matching
Where would the following employers fit in? Write their letter beside the correct name.

1. ___ GM a) independent motor vehicle repair shops

2. ___ Speedy Muffler King b) specialty repair shop chain
3. ___ Joe’s Auto Body Shop c) motor vehicle manufacturers
4. ___ ABC Tool and Die Company d) gasoline service stations + repair shop
5. ___ Canadian Tire Pit Stop e) public transit commissions
6. ___ GO transit f) auto parts manufacturers

Activity 10: Research

Looking at your lists and the lists of employers your team members have given you, put
checkmarks beside all of the employers that you could work for. Then put in order the top
ten employers you would like to work for.

1. ________________________________ 2. _______________________________

3. ________________________________ 4. _______________________________

5. ________________________________ 6. _______________________________

7. ________________________________ 8. _______________________________

9. ________________________________ 10. ______________________________

Activity 11: Internet research

Look up www.workwaves.ca and find out what the current wage is for the job most closely
related to the one you last had. Also find several companies in your neighbourhood or listed
in the Yellow Pages who would hire auto body repairers (see employers in the reading

Steps to Employment 31
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 12: Presenting yourself to an employer

Make your own sentences to use when talking with an employer, using the models below.
Then take turns saying them out loud to the class to see if they can understand you.

I am good at dealing with customers (verb+ing) (object phrase). For example, in my last job,
my boss told me I was very polite with customers and always made sure they were satisfied
with their vehicles.
I am proficient in working on high-end luxury cars (gerund phrase). For example, when I was
in Saudi Arabia, I fixed Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars.
I can (simple form verb) detail a car, from sanding to painting, using any finish.

32 Steps to Employment
The Workplace

For more information on… see HRDC Job Futures or Essential Skills Profiles at local HRDC
Employment Resource Centres, libraries or on the Internet
check out the wage charts from HRDC or www.workwaves.ca

directories of employers
research directories of employers including:
Scott’s Directory
Canadian Key Business Directory, Dunn and Bradstreet
Directory of Associations in Canada, Micromedia Limited
Canadian Trade Directory, Fraser Publication Company, Montreal
Yellow Pages
also see listing at end of previous unit

employer Web site directories

see the Cars Council Web site, www.carscouncil.ca, for links to employers

trade journals and magazines

read Opportunities Unlimited, an automotive career information
publication produced by Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of
read Service Station & Garage Management
read CARS Magazine
see Automotive Parts & Technology
to find these magazines you can try the local library or community college

visit Professional Automotive Garage Owners of Ontario at

Steps to Employment 33

In this unit you will learn about

the laws that protect workers in Ontario
employment standards
human rights
health and safety
workers’ compensation

Mr. L – Painter of Cars and Trucks

Mr. L has been looking for full-time work He worked for a week, painting cars and
for some time. The only jobs he has been trucks. After a week’s work, including
able to find are short-term temporary jobs overtime, his first pay cheque bounced.
at minimum wage or less. Two other employees were in the same
He has been forced to move often and situation.
sometimes stay overnight in shelters. He The automobile repair shop shut down
often cannot afford the bus fare to look for and Mr. L and the others couldn’t find
work. the employer.
Finally, Mr. L was hired by an automobile Mr. L is now living in a shelter again.
repair and paint shop in Mississauga.
Adapted from Bad Boss Stories: Workers Whose Bosses Break the Law

Activity 1: Discussion
1. What kind of business is this?
2. Where are they located?
3. What is Mr. L’s complaint?
4. What law is this company breaking?
5. What should Mr. L do?

Steps to Employment 35
Automotive Trades Workbook

Laws that protect workers in Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is responsible for labour laws in Ontario. These laws
describe the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers in this province.
Ontario’s Employment Standards Act does not apply to industries regulated by the
government of Canada, such as the railways, airlines, post offices, and shipping companies
that cross provincial and state borders. These employees are covered under the Canada
Labour Code.
As a new worker, you need to learn about these laws so that you know your rights and
responsibilities in the workplace.

Employment standards
The Employment Standards Act is the law that contains Ontario’s basic rules about the
minimum standards for salary, overtime, vacations, maternity benefits, termination, and
more. This provincial law covers most workers in Ontario. The Act describes:
Minimum wage: Employers must pay both full-time and part-time workers at least the
minimum wage. Any changes are announced in newspaper ads at least a month before the
change happens.
Hours of work: This is the number of hours for each normal working day. The Act says
that the limit for most employees is eight hours a day and 48 hours a week. Employers must
pay employees overtime if they work more than the legislated hours of work.
Overtime pay: Overtime pay is the wage that employers must give workers who work
overtime. Overtime pay is the regular wage X 1.5, or time and a half.
Meal breaks: Workers must have a meal break each working day. The length of this meal
break is determined either by the law, by the employer, or by union contracts. The Act does
not set coffee and rest breaks, but some employers allow coffee and rest breaks throughout
the day.
Public holidays: Under the law, Ontario has eight paid public holidays. Workers who
qualify for paid public holidays don’t have to work on these days, but are still paid their
regular wages for the day.
Vacation pay: Workers are entitled to a minimum number of days of paid holidays each
year. The law determines how long workers must work before they are eligible for paid
holidays and vacation pay.
Pregnancy and parental leave and benefits: This is the time off for a new parent.
While on pregnancy leave employees can receive employment insurance maternity benefits.
While on parental leave, employees can receive employment insurance parental benefits. To
qualify for these benefits the employee must have paid EI over a period of time prior to the
arrival of the baby.

36 Steps to Employment
Workplace Law In Ontario

Deductions: These are payments that employers can legally deduct from an employee’s
paycheque. This includes Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan payments.
Termination of employment: The law determines how employees or employers end their
contracts and how much termination pay must be paid.

Activity 2: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor. Mark the syllable stress in these words, then practise saying each
vacation overtime deduction minimum
compensation standards termination benefits

Activity 3: Vocabulary matching

Test your understanding of employment standards terminology by matching the terms on
the left with their definitions on the right.

1. ___ minimum wage a) payments that employers deduct from an

2. ___ hours of work employee’s paycheque

3. ___ overtime pay b) the wage that employers must give workers who
work more than the normal hours of work in a
4. ___ meal breaks workweek
5. ___ public holidays c) employers must pay at least this much to part-
6. ___ vacation pay time and full-time employees
7. ___ deductions d) firing or giving notice
8. ___ termination of employment e) time off or the equivalent pay
f) a normal working day
g) time available for breakfast, lunch or dinner,
depending on the work schedule
h) days of rest, recreation or festivity

Steps to Employment 37
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 4: Interview
Work with your partner to fill in the chart with information about Ontario’s employment
standards, then ask your partner about workplace law in his or her country of origin.

Question In Ontario In _________

1. What is the minimum wage?

2. How many weeks’ vacation do most workers get

each year?

3. How many public holidays are there?

4. What are the normal working hours each week?

5. What are the normal working hours each day?

6. Are employers required to pay overtime?

7. What are some deductions from pay cheques?

8. Is there maternity and parental leave? How long

is it?

Activity 5: Reading and completing a pay stub

Here is a pay stub for two weeks. Fill in the pay stub with this information:
This person worked for 75 hours.
The regularly scheduled hours were 72.5.
The total pay before deductions was $915.00.
Canada Pension Plan contributions were $27.45.
Employment Insurance (EI) deductions were $18.30.
Union dues were $12.00.
Income tax deducted was $228.75.

O Detach Cheque Here O

Time Overtime Gross Income EI CPP Union NET PAY
pay tax dues

What was the net pay?

38 Steps to Employment
Workplace Law In Ontario

Human rights

Ontario Human Rights Code

The Ontario Human Rights Code is the law that ensures that all citizens in Ontario must
receive equal and just treatment. The Code protects workers in Ontario from discrimination
and harassment by their employers or co-workers. It also reminds all workers to treat each
other with respect.
The Ontario Human Rights Code forbids discrimination against a person because of race,
colour, religion or sex. Employers and workers must act according to the principles described
in this law. For example, it is illegal to make sexual advances and to make jokes about people
of different races.

Discrimination means being treated differently from other people. There are situations in
which the employer is allowed to be selective on the basis of citizenship, age or disability.
But generally it is against the law to discriminate against people because of race, ancestry,
place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offences, marital
status, same-sex partnership status, family status or handicap. This is why it is illegal for
employers in Ontario to ask questions about an applicant’s marital status, number of children,
age, etc.

Harassment is a situation in which someone threatens or insults you. Racial harassment
includes racial jokes and derogatory comments. Sexual harassment includes unwanted
touching, sexual comments, sexual jokes and suggestions. Discrimination and harassment
can occur in job advertisements, questions about Canadian experience, job applications, job
interviews and in the way workers treat each other and how the employer treats the workers.

Ontario Human Rights Commission

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is the office that enforces the Ontario Human Rights
Code. Anyone who has been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace should try to
solve the problem with the colleagues and employer, but if this fails, the commission can

Steps to Employment 39
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 6: Vocabulary matching

Match the terms on the left with their definitions on the right.

1. ___ ancestry a) being in a parent and child relationship

2. ___ creed b) derogatory comments and unwelcome advances
3. ___ family status c) physical or mental disability
4. ___ handicap d) the person to whom you are married or with whom you
5. ___ harassment live as a couple

6. ___ marital status e) single, married, divorced, common law

7. ___ place of origin f) relatives from many generations back

8. ___ sexual orientation g) where you were born

9. ___ spouse h) heterosexual (straight), homosexual (gay)

10. ___ discrimination i) being treated differently from others

j) your beliefs, especially religious

Activity 7: Discussion
Brainstorm questions that an employer might ask or statements that you might see in a job
ad that would be against the Human Rights Code.

40 Steps to Employment
Workplace Law In Ontario

Activity 8: Matching
Match each situation with one of the following types of discrimination or harassment:
P – place of origin R – race D – disability
C – creed A – age

__ 1. Ameena applied for a job as a receptionist. Ameena is from India. She speaks
English very well, but she has an accent. At the job interview the employer told her
that she was not right for the job. He said that the company needed someone who
spoke English with no accent.
__ 2. Andrea speaks with a stutter. One of her co-workers makes fun of her when she
stutters. He knows that this makes it harder for her to speak, but he does it
__ 3. Nathan works in a machine shop. He is black. Most of his co-workers are white.
Last week his co-workers were telling “black jokes.” Nathan asked them to stop,
but they just laughed at him and went on with the jokes.
__ 4. Ute has been looking for a job for almost two years. She can’t understand why it is
so difficult. Her friends say that it will be impossible for her to get a job because
she is 52 years old.
__ 5. Ahmed is a Muslim. He has a special prayer time every Friday. Every Friday one of
his co-workers teases him: “There goes Ahmed to the mosque again!”
Adapted from: Discrimination and Harassment at Work, CLEO. August, 1993

Health and safety

Occupational Health and Safety Act

The Occupational Health and Safety Act helps to protect the health and safety of workers in
the workplace. This Act is based on the idea that employers and employees must work
together to create a safe and healthy workplace.
Employers must do everything possible to protect workers’ health and safety and workers
must work with employers to identify and solve safety problems in the workplace. The Act
gives workers four basic rights:
• the right to participate in keeping their workplace safe and healthy
• the right to know about health and safety hazards through the Workplace Hazardous
Materials Information Management System (WHMIS)
• the right to refuse work that they think is unsafe
• the right to stop work.
Occupational health and safety applies to all workplaces, however some workplaces will
have more health and safety hazards than others. Inform yourself by contacting the Health
and Safety Association for your occupation or sector.

Steps to Employment 41
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 9: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor. Mark the syllable stress in these words, then practise saying each
hazard protect safe W HMIS
hazardous protection unsafe occupational

Activity 10: Whose responsibility is it?

Circle E for employer and a W for worker in front of each sentence, according to whose
responsibility it is. Remember that some responsibilities are shared.
E W 1. give information, training and supervision
E W 2. not work or operate equipment in a way that could be dangerous
E W 3. make sure safe work procedures are followed and equipment is used properly
E W 4. report any broken equipment or safety devices
E W 5. keep safety equipment in good condition
E W 6. use the safety equipment available in the workplace
E W 7. report any health or safety violations

Workers’ compensation

Workers’ Compensation Act

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act ensures that workers who are injured at work or get
sick from their work can receive compensation and assistance in getting back to work.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is the office responsible for
administering workers’ compensation. The WSIB also enforces the provincial occupational
health and safety system.

No injury is too small to report!

All employees must be registered with the WSIB. Employers must register any new
employees with the WSIB within ten days of hiring, or they can be fined. Employers must
also report any injuries that occur on at the workplace to the WSIB within three days of the
Workers must report any injury to their employer immediately. If a worker misses work
because of an injury or illness, the employer must report it to the WSIB within three days
after the accident. Workers must also make a claim with the WSIB within six months of their

42 Steps to Employment
Workplace Law In Ontario

Although both the employer and the employee report any injury related to their job,
employees must apply for workers’ compensation and the WSIB decides if the law covers a
worker or not.

Real stories…
WSIB Violations
An Ontario company operating as Ontario These are violations under sections 152(3)
1234567 has been charged with one count and 151(1) respectively of the Workplace
each of failing to notify the WSIB within Safety and Insurance Act.
three days after learning of an accident to
an employee. The company and the company owner are
scheduled to appear at a provincial
The company has also been charged with courtroom.
one count of failing to register with the
WSIB within ten days of becoming an
Source: Adapted from media and government sources.

Activity 11: Discussion

1. What law is this company breaking?
2. What were the responsibilities of the employer in this case?
3. What could the workers have done to prevent this?
4. What will happen next?
5. What do you think the judge will decide?

Steps to Employment 43
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 12: Vocabulary review

Fill in the blanks using words from this unit.

1. The _________________ _________________ __________________ is the law that

talks about minimum wage, hours of work, etc.

2. If an employer discriminates against me, I can complain to the ______________

_________________ _______________ _________________.

3. Money I pay each month to a union is called ______________ ______________.

4. An example of ___________________________ is when an employer doesn’t hire

someone because of their skin colour.

5. An example of __________________________ is when someone threatens or insults

me at work.

6. If I get injured at work I can get _________________ ______________________.

7. _________________ ___________________ is my pay before all the deductions.

8. The ___________________ _________________ ________ ________________ _____

says that I have the right to know if I am working with hazardous materials.

Activity 13: Research

If you need more details on Ontario’s employment standards, use brochures or the Internet
to find information about employment standards in Ontario. Use the For more information
on… page as a guide.

44 Steps to Employment
Workplace Law In Ontario

employment standards
general information: contact the Ministry of Labour at 416-326-7000 or
For more information on… toll-free at 1-800-531-5551
visit the Ministry of Labour Web site at www.gov.on.ca/lab to get
information on vacation, minimum wage, hours of work, and more

contact the WSIB at (416) 344-1013 or toll-free at 1-800-387-8638
visit the WSIB Web page at www.wsib.on.ca

health and safety regulations

contact the Ministry of Labour at 416-326-7000 or toll-free at
contact the Industrial Accident Prevention Association at www.iapa.on.ca
workers in non-unionized places can contact the Occupational Health
Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. for information at www.ohcow.on.ca or
Toronto 416-449-0009
Hamilton 1-800-263-2129
Sudbury 1-800-461-7120
Windsor 1-800-565-3185

call and ask for information on WHMIS and request a copy of WHMIS
symbols from Occupational Health and Safety at (416) 314-5421 or print a
copy from www.gov.on.ca/lab/ohs

getting help
look up community legal clinics in the Yellow Pages
visit settlement agencies in your community to seek out help
search www.settlement.org or look in your telephone book under
community services
contact CLEO at 416-408-4420 for information on legal clinics in your

Steps to Employment 45
Automotive Trades Workbook

46 Steps to Employment

In this unit you will learn about

licensed and unlicensed trades
training and upgrading
Canadian experience
You will also practise
how to describe your previous training and experience

Nour’s Story
Nour Salim feels lucky to have found a job “I do a good job. They know that,” Nour
he likes and an employer he really likes, says about his employer. “He said anytime
but he would eventually like to become you want, you have a job here.” The big
licensed as an automotive service difference between here and home is that
technician. in Afghanistan, you didn’t have to go to
school to learn to be a mechanic. You learn
Nour arrived in Ontario alone as a refugee
from one. “I made good money too.”
in October 1998. He had just spent three
years in jail as a political prisoner in Nour’s dream is to become an automotive
Afghanistan. His family had fled to service technician, (AST) then bring his
Pakistan. In Ontario, Nour’s social worker family over from Pakistan when he earns
suggested that he take a course in auto enough money. “It’s the only job for me –
body repair. After he finished, he was hired I’m really mechanically-minded,” he says.
by a collision body shop where he works as “I like it.”
a prep man, doing some mechanics and
body work for $12 an hour.
Adapted from an interview with Nour Salim

Activity 1: Comprehension
1. What was Nour’s occupation in Afghanistan?
2. Why did he come to Canada if he was making good money back home?
3. What did Nour find different about being a mechanic in Ontario?
4. Why does Nour want to become an AST?
5. What are the next steps Nour must take if he wants to become an AST in Ontario?

Steps to Employment 47
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 2: Discussion
In small groups, discuss the reading based on these questions:
1. What do you think of Nour’s choices?
2. What were/are his other options?
3. Would you do the same thing that he did? Why? Why not?

Licensed and unlicensed trades in Ontario

In Ontario, you must become certified or get a licence if you want to work in the following
regulated or restricted trades:
• automotive service technician,
• auto body repairer,
• alignment and brakes technician,
• fuel and electrical systems technician, or
• transmission technician
To become certified, you must go to your local Ministry of Training, Colleges and
Universities apprenticeship office and show a letter from past employers stating that you
have worked 9,000 hours (or 4.5 years) in your field. If this letter is not in English or French,
it must be translated and signed by a lawyer who has seen the original. You must also have
education that’s equal to grade 12 in Ontario.
If you cannot prove that you have the required number of hours of experience, you will be
recommended to find an apprenticeship (on-the-job training) in which you can get a licensed
automotive service technician to sign a sheet listing all the duties you are capable of doing.
To find employers who are willing to take apprentices, look in local newspapers, the Yellow
Pages in your telephone directory, the Internet or contact employers directly. Apprentices are
usually paid minimum wage. If you do not have education equal to a grade 12 diploma, you
will be required to attend enough courses to gain your Secondary School Graduation
Diploma, or a General Education Diploma (GED).
Once the apprenticeship office is satisfied that you have met the required hours and that you
have the equivalent of a high school diploma, you will be given a letter stating that you meet
all of the qualifications to work in your field, which you can then show employers. The office
will also fill out an application form for you and give you the next 90 days to set an
appointment to write a provincial licensing exam (in Toronto, exams are held every day; so
you do not need to make an appointment)

Provincial Exam
You may bring a translator with you to write the exam, but the translator must be a resident
of Ontario, must not have knowledge in your trade or related trades, must have a valid Social
Insurance Number card and must not have translated for anyone in the past 12 months.

48 Steps to Employment
Certification, Training, And Experience

Dictionaries and calculators are provided in the exam room. You must score at least 60% to
Certification is necessary or mandatory for ASTs, but auto body repairers and automotive
painters, it is voluntary. Therefore you are not required to write a provincial exam. You must,
however, be able to prove to your local apprenticeship office that you have 3,600 hours of
related experience. Have your former employer(s) sign a letter outlining the job duties you
performed for them. If this letter is not in English, you must have it translated and signed by
an official who has seen the original. The apprenticeship office will then give you a letter of
permission that tells employers that you have enough experience to practise in your field.

Activity 3: True or false

Read the following sentences and circle T for true statements and F for false statements.

T F 1. You need a certificate of qualification in order to be an auto body repairer.

T F 2. Your former employer must write a letter in English.
T F 3. Automotive service technicians require 3,600 hours of related work experience.
T F 4. You have 90 days to study, then you can write your provincial exam.
T F 5. The apprenticeship office will give you a job so you can get Canadian
T F 6. Fuel and electrical systems technicians need a Certificate of Qualification to
work in Ontario.
T F 7. If you do not have the equivalent of a grade 12 diploma, you must attend high
school in Ontario to get one.

Activity 4: Comprehension
1. Do you have the necessary requirements to write the provincial exam?
2. What do you have to do to meet the requirements?

Activity 5: Interview
Interview your classmate and find out how they qualified to work in their trade in other
countries where they have worked. Switch roles and let your classmate interview you.
Present each others’ experiences to the class.

Steps to Employment 49
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 6: Discussion
Take turns comparing the items listed on the following chart to your experience working in
other countries. Is it more difficult or easier to practise your trade in Ontario?

in Ontario… Other countries…

Entry-level qualifications
Knowledge of the industry
Interpersonal skills
Team working skills
Customer service
Technical skills

What is so special about Canadian experience?

While most employers in Canada probably can’t even define Canadian experience, they do
have concerns about hiring foreign-trained people. If employers have never hired a foreign-
trained person before, they may worry that that person won’t have the skills necessary for
their workplace.
Employers may also worry that their English isn’t good enough. Maybe they had a bad
experience in the past, in which a newcomer didn’t understand instructions, didn’t perform
his of her job well enough, then had to be let go. Maybe the newcomer didn’t like it when the
employer tried to correct his or her English.
Tell employers that your English isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough to get a job. Tell the
employer how much your language has improved since you arrived in Canada and how you
are taking English conversation courses in the evening to improve. Also, let them know that
you’ll ask questions if you don’t understand something.
Finally, give employers Canadian references – names of people who know you. ESL teachers
and supervisors from survival jobs and volunteer jobs can say that you are punctual, get
along well with others, have good English and that you are a hard worker.

50 Steps to Employment
Certification, Training, And Experience

Activity 7: Writing
Work with a partner and write down three different answers to give an employer who asks
you about your Canadian experience.

Activity 8: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words, mark the syllable stress in these words, then
practise saying each one aloud.
you’ve skills punctual
reference survival job hard worker

Training and upgrading

If you do not have the equivalent to a grade 12 diploma, you can attend adult day or evening
school to get the credits you need to obtain a secondary school graduation diploma.
If you have the equivalent to a grade 12
diploma, but still need help with your Dynamics
English, register in an English as a
second language program. You may Prerequisites: Statistics and Calculus
even want to upgrade your skills and Particles in motion; rigid bodies in motion; work and
knowledge. energy; impulse and momentum methods.
For example, if you are used to welding Applications: clutch and brake systems and
auto body panels with an oxy-acetylene vibrating systems.
torch, you may want to learn how to
use a magnesium inert gas welder that Schedule: 14 sessions, 56 hours
does not distort metals the way oxy-
Fee: $699
acetylene does.
Adapted from Ryerson Polytechnical University calendar

Steps to Employment 51
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 9: Comprehension
Read the above course description and answer the questions:
1. What are the prerequisites for this course?
2. What do you think the course will be about?
3. Is it directly related to mechanics?
4. Is this course necessary to practise as an automotive service technician?

Activity 10: Pronunciation

Listen to the instructor say the following words. Mark the syllable stress in these words, then
practise saying each one out loud.
clutch obtain upgrade
particles rigid momentum
distort prerequisite statics

Activity 11: Matching

Match each word to its definition by writing the corresponding letter in the blanks.

1.__obtain a) stiff
2.__clutch b) speed
3.__upgrade c) get
4.__particles d) device connecting transmission to engine
5.__rigid e) change
6.__momentum f) courses you must already have before taking more
7.__statics g) the study of things that do not move/opposite of
8.__prerequisite mechanics

9.__distort h) tiny portions of matter

i) improve

52 Steps to Employment
Certification, Training, And Experience

Activity 12: Research

Look on the Internet at www.schoolfinder.com for courses you may be interested in at a
local community college. Fill in the info in the chart below. Share your completed chart with
others in your occupation:
Course title Course description When offered Cost

Steps to Employment 53
Automotive Trades Workbook

certification requirements
For more information on… research www.edu.gov.on.ca, Apprenticeship section
see the Skills for Change Web site and fact sheets at

training and upgrading

For local community colleges, visit
consult your local school board course calendar for adult day-time and
evening credit courses

evaluation of past training

visit World Education Services at www.wes.ca
visit the Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Office in your area. For
the address, check the blue pages of your telephone book.

recommended books
(Available at your local library or at Centennial College bookstore)
Crouse, Automotive Mechanics McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 330 Progress
Ave., Scar., ON, M1P 2Z5
Erjavec, Jack, Automotive Technology Systems Approach, Delmar,
Hogg, J.W., third edition, Auto Body Repair and Refinishing $70.00
Stockel, Auto-Mechanics Fundamentals, General Publishing, 30 Lesmill
Road, Don Mills, ON, M3B 2T6
Toboldt, Auto body Repairing and Repainting, General Publishing, 30
Lesmill Rd., Don Mills, ON, M3B 2T6
Refinisher Manual, C.I.L., 1300 Castlefield Ave., Toronto, M6B 1G5
A.B.C. of Spray Equipment, DeVillbies Canada Ltd., Barrie, ON
Refinisher Guide, Rinshed Mason Products, Interchemical Corp., Windsor,

54 Steps to Employment

Terminology for Tools and Auto Parts

Occupational Terminology

Communication in the Workplace

Communication in the Community

Personal Plan

Steps to Employment 55
Automotive Trades Workbook

56 Steps to Employment

In this unit you will learn about

tool names
auto parts
problem solving
and you will practise
writing and saying an experience statement

Tools in the automotive shop

Activity 1: Matching
In small groups, work together to match the names of tools:

__ sockets
__ file
__ box wrench
__ needle-nose pliers
__ Robertson screwdriver
__ flare nut open-end wrench
__ Torx screwdriver
__ punch
__ Philips offset
__ snips
__ ratcheting box wrench
__ diagonal-cutting pliers
__ combination wrench
__ screwdriver
__ ratchet
__ straight offset
__ open-end wrench
__ trimmers’ pliers

Steps to Employment 57
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 2: Pronunciation
Mark the syllable stress in these words, then practise saying each one.
sockets Torx screwdriver combination wrench
vise grips needle-nose pliers screwdriver
box wrench Philips offset Philips screwdriver
punch flare nut open-end wrench straight offset
ratchet ratcheting box wrench open-end wrench
snips diagonal-cutting pliers trimmers’ pliers

Activity 3: Matching
In small groups, list the tools on the chart below by their function(s) and power source:
hammer screwdriver wrench shop crane
vise pliers pullers varsol tank
hacksaw socket punch twist drill
ratchet tap and die electric drill drill press
air drill soldering gun pneumatic jack hydraulic jack
gauge air impact wrench hydraulic press vacuum cleaner
chisel spray/power washers air compressor air hammer/chisel
hoist grinding/wire wheel air ratchet air (impact) gun











58 Steps to Employment
Terminology For Tools And Auto Parts

Activity 4: Describe a job duty

Take turns using the above words in a sentence to describe a job you did in your last

For example:
I used power tools, such as pneumatic wrenches to remove bolts quickly, and welding and
frame-cutting equipment to remove and repair exhaust systems, and jacks and hoists to lift
cars and engines.

Activity 5: Matching
With a partner, label the following picture of an automobile with the following words.

Graphics supplied by Sam San Philipo, Career Start

__ Hood __ ‘B’ Pillar __ Rocker Panel

__ Left rear door __ Right Bumper Cover __ Trunk Lid
__ ‘A’ Pillar __ Sail __ Roof
__ ‘C’ Pillar __ Bumper Cover __ Left Front Door
__ Right Bumper Cover __ Left Rear Quarter Panel

Steps to Employment 59
Automotive Trades Workbook

Motor vehicle problem solving

Activity 6: Matching
In small groups, match the above motor vehicle problems with probable causes or solutions:

Problems… Causes/Solutions…

1. engine stops and starts a) advanced timing

2. engine backfires but fails to start b) leaky carburetor

3. blue smoke c) fluid in radiator is leaking

4. white smoke d) thick oil

5. pink automatic transmission fluid e) steam in exhaust

6. too much fuel being used f) defective catalytic converter

7. brown automatic transmission fluid g) linings worn or brake shoe rivets loose

8. engine cranks normally but fails to start h) dirty fluid

9. engine makes ‘ping’ sound i) spark plugs of incorrect heat range

10. weak or sticky brakes j) check fuel injector

11. engine overheats k) loss of brake fluid

12. excessive CO in exhaust gas l) too much oil being used

13. engine run-on m) (brake) shoes out of adjustment

14. brakes grab n) lack of coolant

15. engine lacks power o) no voltage to ignition system

16. noisy brakes p) incorrect timing

60 Steps to Employment
Terminology For Tools And Auto Parts

Activity 7: Matching
In a small group, match the job duties with the correct job titles below.

1. _____ alignment and brakes technician a) inspect and test transmissions and
2. _____ auto body repairer axles to locate faults and malfunctions

3. _____ automotive painter b) file, grind and sand repaired body

surfaces using both manual and
4. _____ automotive service technician power tools
5. _____ fuel and electrical systems c) perform scheduled maintenance
technician service, such as oil changes,
6. _____ transmission technician lubrications and tune ups
d) repair and replace front end
components, body components, doors
and frame and under body
e) apply primers and repaint surfaces
using brush or spray guns
f) work on gear trains, couplings,
hydraulic pumps, and other parts of
automatic transmissions.
g) use electronic service equipment,
such as infrared engine analyzers and
computerized diagnostic devices.
h) use lathes and grinding machines to
rebuild brakes.

What employers want

Employers are looking for proof that you have excellent customer service skills, knowledge
of the automotive sector, a grade 12 education, and basic computer skills. In your resume and
interview make sure to describe any work experience and courses that you have taken that
have helped you to get the skills they want.
When you apply for a job in Canada, employers want to know about your work experience.
You have to talk about:
• where you worked
• how long you worked there
• your position (job title, occupation)
• your duties and responsibilities

Steps to Employment 61
Automotive Trades Workbook

Here is an example:
“When I was in Africa I worked for a garage. Not only did I fix the cars, I also did the body work
and painted them. I was a mechanic there for four years. I didn’t use computers on my job but I
am taking a course at a community college called Introduction to Word. I have driven buses and I
repaired them.”

Activity 8: Write your experience statement

Practise it and use it to tell people about your training, experience and knowledge. The more
people know about you, the more help you will have!

Activity 9: Saying your experience statement

Practise saying your experience statement first to your partner, then to others in your same
occupation, then finally to the whole class. They may have some good suggestions of skills
and knowledge you can add to make it better.

62 Steps to Employment
Terminology For Tools And Auto Parts

for job descriptions see at Ontario Job Futures www.hrdc-
For more information on…
Crouse, Automotive Mechanics, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 330 Progress
Ave., Scar., ON, M1P 2Z5
Erjavec, Jack, Automotive Technology Systems Approach, Delmar,
Hogg, J.W., third edition, Auto Body Repair and Refinishing $70.00
Stockel, Auto-Mechanics Fundamentals, General Publishing, 30 Lesmill
Road, Don Mills, ON, M3B 2T6
Toboldt, Auto Body Repairing and Repainting, General Publishing, 30
Lesmill Rd., Don Mills, ON, M3B 2T6
Refinisher Manual, C.I.L., 1300 Castlefield Ave., Toronto, M6B 1G5
A.B.C. of Spray Equipment, DeVillbies Canada Ltd., Barrie, ON
Refinisher Guide, Rinshed Mason Products, Interchemical Corp., Windsor,

technical language for foreign-trained ASTs / ESL

Kelso, B. Technical Language for Foreign-trained Auto Service
Technicians, Sector Terminology, Information and Counselling, 1998.
Kelso, B. Technical Language for Foreign-trained Auto Vehicle
Mechanics, Ontario Training and Adjustment Board, 1995.

tools and equipment

visit autotoolsexpress.com or search for other Web sites

Steps to Employment 63

In this unit you will learn about

ISO 9000 standards
writing a multiple choice exam
and you will practise
answering exam questions

What is ISO 9000?

ISO 9000 is a set of five universal standards for a Quality Assurance system that is accepted
around the world. ISO is not short for a longer word. It simply means “equal” in Greek and is
concerned with “quality management.”
ISO 9000 focuses on the features of a service or product that the customer needs. It refers to
what the organization does to make sure that a product or service meets the customer’s needs.
In other words, every product is made the same way every time.
ISO 9001 is used by manufacturers that design their own products and build them. Key
words are: design, develop, produce, install, service. ISO 9002 is used by organizations that
provide goods or services according to designs or specifications given by the customer.
QS 9000 is the automotive industry standard and includes all of ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 plus
industry and customer specific needs. It was developed by GM, Ford, Chrysler and heavy
truck manufacturers. Companies that supply car makers with parts also have to be QS 9000

Activity 1: Comprehension
1. Is ISO 9000 the same as QS 9000?
2. What do 9001, 9002 mean?
3. Where do you see ISO and numbers?
4. Do you think ISO is good for customers?

Steps to Employment 65
Automotive Trades Workbook

Writing a multiple choice exam

If you are part of a compulsory or restricted trade, you must write a provincial examination at
your local Apprenticeship and Trades Certification office. The exam costs $100 per attempt.
If you fail the exam, your results will tell you what areas to review. You may try the exam
three times.
If you pass the exam, you will receive a Certificate of Qualification, which will allow you to
work in your trade at full wage.
If you do not pass the exam on your third attempt, a training consultant will advise you to
take additional training in areas of your trade you are weak in. Then you will be allowed one
more attempt at the exam once you can prove that you have completed the recommended
If your trade is voluntary or non-restricted, you are not required to write a provincial
examination or have a Certificate of Qualification. However, some employers and unions
may ask for Certificates of Qualifications for voluntary trades.

Activity 2: Comprehension
Circle T if the following statement is true, F if it is false.
T F 1. You may write the provincial examination as many times as you want.
T F 2. If you do not pass the exam, a training consultant will tell you what to study.
T F 3. If your trade is restricted, you don’t have to write the exam.
T F 4. If you pass the exam, you may work in your trade for full wage.
T F 5. You must pay $100 only the first time you write the provincial exam.

How to write a multiple choice exam

Most automotive trades, except for automotive painters, will have to write the provincial
exam to become certified.
The exam has some true and false questions, but it is mostly multiple choice. This means you
must find the most correct answer amongst several answers. Usually four choices are given.
Of the four, one is obviously wrong. Another is possibly right, but probably not, while the
third and fourth are very similar.

66 Steps to Employment
Occupational Terminology

It will be easy to find the obviously wrong one, so do that first. Secondly, try to find the
answer that COULD be right, but PROBABLY isn’t. Then your choice is down to only two
answers. For example,
A brake lining:
a) comes into contact with the drum when the brake is applied
b) comes into contact with the disc attached to the wheel hub when the brake is applied
c) is the curved metal part of a drum brake to which the disc is attached
d) is made of asbestos
In this example, b) MAY be correct, but it is confused with the brake drum. While d) may be
true, it is not necessarily true, and c) is wrong because it obviously confuses a brake lining
with a brake shoe. Therefore, a) is the correct answer.
Also, there may be questions that ask for ALL OF THE ABOVE or NONE OF THE
ABOVE. For example,
A wrench is a tool that:
a) grips a bolt
b) tightens or loosens objects
c) comes in a variety of shapes and sizes
d) all of the above
In this example, all of the above answers apply to the wrench. Sometimes, however, there are
tricks in the question. For example, two are correct but the third isn’t. For example,
A wrench is a tool that:
a) grips a bolt
b) tightens or looses objects
c) is used to strike objects
d) all of the above
Also pay close attention to HOW the question is worded. There may be just one word in the
question that changes the meaning of the sentence. For example,
The following are all of the different types of screwdrivers. Circle True or False.
a) Phillips
b) ratchet
c) right-angled
d) Benson
Yes, a), b) and c) are ALL names of screwdrivers, but they are not ALL the types of
screwdrivers that exist. Therefore, the answer is FALSE.

Steps to Employment 67
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 3: Writing a multiple choice practice test

Form a small group of members of all auto trades and try to answer the following questions.
There will be one question each for ASTs, auto body repairers, auto painters, transmission
technicians, brake and alignment technicians and fuel and electrical systems technicians.
Work as a team.
1. The two fuel systems used with spark-ignition engines are:
a) carburetor and diesel
b) fuel injection and diesel
c) port and throttle body
d) fuel injected and carbureted
2. Voltage is:
a) current flow
b) resistance to current flow
c) electrical pressure
d) amperes flow
3. The rear disc brake with an integral parking brake has:
a) two shoes in a hub-mounted drum brake
b) a small brake drum mounted on the rear-axle halfshaft
c) a piston that can be operated hydraulically or mechanically
d) a separate fluid reservoir for the parking brake
4. When the gear ratio through the transmission is 1:1, the transmission is in:
a) overdrive
b) direct drive
c) underdrive
d) neutral
5. Body construction consists of:
a) body-and-frame
b) unitized body or unibody
c) space frame
d) all of the above
6. Materials painted on automobiles include:
a) enamel
b) lacquer
c) non-metallic protective and decorative coatings
d) all of the above

68 Steps to Employment
Occupational Terminology

Activity 4: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words. Mark the syllable stress in these words, then
practise saying each one out loud.
applied backfiring circulates
controlled bolted displays
dips according disconnected

Activity 5: Fill in the blanks

You may also be asked Fill in the Blank questions on the provincial exam. Fill in the blanks
with the verbs in the box below. Check your answers with a partner.
act backfiring coat dips
according to block circulates disconnected
adjusting bolted compressed disengaged
allows buzzing connect displays
applied dragging controlled

1. The valve ____________ the exhaust to escape.

2. He_______________pressure to the brakes to make the car stop.
3. ______________my classmate, the exam is difficult.
4. She had trouble______________the tailpipe.
5. Safety goggles_____________as protection in doing many jobs.
6. If you hear_______________ there could be a problem.
7. Make sure any loose parts are_______________down before you start.
8. ______________means a problem in the ignition.
9. Don’t______________the entrance or we won’t be able to get in.
10. _____________the part with oil to make it easier to turn.
11. _____________air is needed for hydraulic power.
12. _____________the other jumper cable to the battery.
13. Temperature is ______________by the thermostat.
14. The fan ______________air.
15. Power is cut off when its source becomes____________.
16. The old muffler was____________behind the car.
17. Accidents can occur when the brake pedals become____________.
18. The mercury in the thermometer_____________when it is cold.
19. When the gauge_____________low pressure, you must add air.

Steps to Employment 69
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 6: Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks with the verbs in the box below. Then check your answers with a partner.
flows indicates idle insulates
interlock occur produces prevent
purify pushes raises reciprocate
reposition restore rotate rub

1. An engine may ____________ if it is not allowed to warm up in cold weather.

2. A low fuel reading______________it is time to add fuel.

3. If you_____________the two parts, they will not come apart.

4. Like water, an electrical current also_______________.

5. Rubber________________electrical waves.

6. You can_______________accidents if you are careful.

7. Catalytic converters attempt to _____________exhaust before it enters the atmosphere.

8. Accidents will______________if you are not careful.

9. The addition of a spark to fuel____________ignition.

10. An object____________another object when it applies force toward it.

11. It is a good idea to_______________tires a few times a year as part of a 12-point


12. Parts move so you should _______________them in their original place.

13. Wheel alignment lets you______________alignment to the manufacturer’s


14. The brake lining should_____________against the brake shoe.

15. Increased motion of electrons________________the temperature.

16. Pistons____________in an up-and-down motion in a cycle.

70 Steps to Employment
Occupational Terminology

exam preparation books

Auto-Mechanics Fundamentals, Stockel, General Publishing, 30 Lesmill
Road, Don Mills, ON M3B 2T6
For more information on…
Automotive Mechanics, Crouse, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 330 Progress
Avenue, Scarborough, ON M1P 2Z5
Automotive Transmissions & Power Trains, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd.

Auto body Repair and Painter

Auto body Repair & Refinishing, J.W. Hogg
Auto body Repairing & Repainting, Toboldt, General Publishing (see
Refinisher Manual, Canadian Industries Ltd., Refinishing Paint Section
A.B.C. of Spray Equipment, deVillbies Canada Ltd.
Refinisher Guide, by Rinshed Mason Products, Interchemical, Windsor,

Automotive Technology Systems Approach, Jack Erjavec, Delmar,
Automotive Technology, Frederick C. Nash, Kalman Banitz, McGraw-Hill
Ryerson Ltd.
Automotive Encyclopedia, Toboldt, Johnson, General Publishing (see
Automotive Air-Conditioning, Dwiggins, Delmar Publishers, Div. Van
Nostrand Reinhold Ltd., Scarborough, ON M1P 2E7
Suspension & Alignment, Dave Coughlin
Transmissions, Dave White
(American) Guide to the Certification Examination, James G. Hughes,
Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 07632
Practical Problems in Mathematics for Automotive Technicians, George
Moore, Nelson Canada-Div. Int’l Thomson Ltd. 10987654

mechanics terminology/ESL
Technical Language Training for Foreign-trained Auto Vehicle Mechanics,
Kelso, Brigid, Skills for Change/OTAB, 1996
Occupational Terminology Workshop – Curriculum for Auto Service
Technicians, Kelso, Brigid, MCZCR/M.S.S.B., 1998

Steps to Employment 71

In this unit you will learn about

communicating with customers, co-workers, and employers
filling out estimate forms
You will also
give and respond to feedback
practise workplace role plays
fill out an estimate form

Giving customers an estimate

No one likes to give bad news. Because most of the public does not know much about motor
vehicle repair, they often do not understand how much labour is involved as well as the cost
of replacement parts.
Therefore, finding out how much it costs to have their car fixed sometimes comes as a shock.
You can help the customer with this shock by giving them the news in a straight forward
manner. If you have a problem, always offer a solution.
Be polite, but avoid saying that you’re sorry and do not blame anyone else if you make a
mistake in the estimation. Being honest with people is a good way to keep them as regular

Activity 1: Comprehension
1. What should you do to give good customer service?
2. What shouldn’t you do if you want to keep customers?

Steps to Employment 73
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 2: Comprehension
Circle the most appropriate way of giving bad news in the following sentences.

1. It’s going to cost more!

a) After I called you, Mr. Jones, I realized that I forgot to include the G.S.T. on the
labour part of your estimate. The revised estimated is $359.90.

b) Sorry, but my boss said I have to charge you G.S.T. on labour, so now you owe us
$359.90. If you have a problem with this, you can speak with him.

c) I’m afraid I’m going to have to charge for G.S.T. on labour, Mr. Jones. I forgot to
include it. I’m really sorry. It’s my fault.

2. We can’t find the part!

a) Ms. Singh. I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we can’t find a grill
for your K-Car, but the good news is we did find one for a Reliant.

b) Ms. Singh, we can’t locate a grill for your K-Car. I can, however, get one for a similar
car. Would you like me to order this one?

c) Hi, Ms. Singh. I’m trying my best to find a grill for your K-Car, but I haven’t been able
to find one yet.

74 Steps to Employment
Communication In The Workplace

Activity 3: Comprehension
Read the dialogue and answer the questions that follow:

Mechanic: Hello, is Ms. Wong there?
Customer: Speaking.
Mechanic: Ms. Wong, I’ve had a look at your brakes and I’m going to have to lubricate
the sliders.
Customer: What are sliders?
Mechanic : The sliders touch the rim of the wheel, like on a bike, and when they’re not
lubricated properly, you get that squeaking sound. To service your front
brakes and lubricate the sliders, it’ll be $27.50.
While we were checking the car, we also noticed too much wear and
cracking on both the alternator and air conditioning belts. If these belts are
not replaced, the battery won’t recharge properly and you won’t have
proper operation of the air conditioning system.
Parts will be $39, and labour is $88.45. With taxes, it comes to $146.57. I
can probably have it ready by tonight. Do you want me to go ahead with it?
Customer: Okay, if you think it’s necessary. Does my warranty cover it?
Mechanic: Your warranty is only good for three years, and the car’s six years old. I do
think this work is necessary. I’ll start on it right away and if I run into any
problems, I’ll call you by 4:00 this afternoon. Otherwise, I’ll call you as soon
as it’s ready.
Customer: Sounds good, thanks.
Mechanic: You’re welcome, bye.
Customer: Bye.

1. What was wrong with Ms. Wong’s car?

2. How will it be fixed?

3. How much will it cost?

Steps to Employment 75
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 4: Filling in an estimate form

Use the following estimate form as a model and fill in the blank form using the information
from one of the jobs on the following page.

BK Auto Repair no. 2002

Customer: Make: Dodge
Warren Peace Model: Spirit
123 Main Street Year: 1998
Toronto, Ontario Colour: White
416-555-4567 Licence: JQN 345


1 Alternator Belt $24.00 Install $17.50

1 Air Con Belt $15.00 Install $17.50

Service Brakes $27.95
Lubricate Sliders

Rates based on $65/hour

Parts: $39.00 Total Labour: $62.95

Total Parts: $39.00
Sales Tax: $15.29
Total Amount: $117.24

76 Steps to Employment
Communication In The Workplace

Customer 1 Customer 2 Customer 3

Name Jose Strachan Yvonne Liu Sean McIntyre
89 Booth St., Toronto 295 Ralls Rd., Toronto 64 Payne Dr., Toronto
416-555-1212 416-555-3678 416-555-0296
Vehicle 98 Ford Taurus 97 Honda Civic 99 Jeep Cherokee
Blue, LKD 578 Red, TSF 395 Black, AJQN 345
Need Replace Cruise Replace Muffler Align Wheels
Control Cable
Labour $ 97.50 $ 52.00 $ 75.00
Parts $151.75 $114.50 $ 0.00
Taxes $ 37.39 $ 24.98 $ 11.25
Total $286.64 $191.48 $ 86.25

BK Auto Repair no. 2003

Customer: Make:


Rates based on $65/hour

Parts: Total Labour:

Total Parts:
Sales Tax:
Total Amount:

Steps to Employment 77
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 5: Pronunciation
Write a dialogue on the lines below. Practise the dialogue with your partner and get some
help from the instructor on words that are difficult to pronounce.

Your dialogue

Activity 6: Role play

Now present your dialogue with a partner to the class.

Real stories…
Juan and Ivan work in an auto shop. Ivan took his tools from the shop to his cottage four
hours away to work on his car. He forgot them at the cottage and now has no tools. He
asks Juan if he can borrow his tools for the week until he can return to his cottage to pick
up his own.
Juan lends his tools to Ivan. Thursday morning, he looks for his pneumatic drill and
cannot find it. He last saw it on Monday morning. When Juan asks Ivan that morning if
he’s seen it, Ivan says he hasn’t seen it all week. Juan suspects (thinks) Ivan is lying but
says nothing. It’s lunchtime and Juan knows Ivan is having lunch at the coffee shop. He
goes to the shop, and in front of two other technicians, he accuses (blames) Ivan of
stealing the drill and demands that he buy him a new one.
Ivan denies stealing the drill. The boss tells Ivan that he should be using his own tools and
that he shouldn’t bother coming to work without them.

78 Steps to Employment
Communication In The Workplace

Communicating with co-workers

Giving “I” Messages
When we say, “You took my drill!” we are accusing. When we say “I have a problem – my
drill is missing, has anyone seen it?” we are stating a problem and asking for help. People
become less co-operative, and more defensive when they are accused of doing something.
They are more co-operative when we state problems and ask for their help.
When we are angry with someone, we can follow these three steps to tell them.
1. Talk to the person who is causing the problem alone. You don’t want to embarrass them.
2. Tell them that it is only their behaviour, not them, you are displeased with.
3. Tell them exactly what you want them to do or change to make things better for you.

Activity 7: Pronunciation
Listen to the instructor say the following words, mark the stressed syllable, then repeat them
yourself aloud.
denies co-operative suspects accuses

Activity 8: Writing
With a partner, change the following accusations so that they are not blaming.

1. This accident is all your fault. Are you stupid? Didn’t you see the sign?
2. My paycheque is wrong. Are you trying to rip me off?

Activity 9: Role play

Act out the following role-play with your small group. Present it to the class, and ask them if
they would have handled it differently.

You work in a shop in which almost everyone, including the boss, speaks Italian. They
often tell jokes during lunch, none of which you can understand. When you ask them to
repeat the joke in English, they say that it would take too long. You mention it to the boss
one day, but he says that the jokes aren’t that funny anyway, and that he can’t tell his
experienced workers to speak in English. This is beginning to bother you. Talk to your co-

Steps to Employment 79
Automotive Trades Workbook

Communicating with employers

Accepting feedback
When anyone, but particularly an employer, informs us about one of our weaknesses, we can
feel bad. Part of the job of an employer is to give feedback to workers (let them know their
mistakes), particularly to their apprentices, so that they can a) be aware of their mistakes and
learn more, and b) so that the employer’s reputation and quality of work does not suffer.
Being able to accept feedback (especially when it is negative) is a skill made up of the
following five steps.
1. Accept the feedback.
2. Apologize for your actions if you are indeed wrong.
3. Thank the employer for pointing out the problem, ask how it can be avoided in the future,
4. Assure the employer that you will try not to make the same mistake again.
5. Give an explanation (only if you are sure the employer is wrong). Avoid saying “you” as
it sounds like you are accusing. Say “maybe a mistake was made when”

Real stories…
Vladmir’s Problem
Vladimir has been working on the same car for three days. His employer has asked him
how it’s going at the end of the first two days. On the third day, he calls Vladimir into his
office and asks him if he’s having a problem. Vladimir says no and looks puzzled. His
employer smiles, but looks a little worried too. Then he tells Vladimir that although he’s
doing a good job, he must increase his speed if he wants to keep working here. Vladimir
is a perfectionist and becomes so insulted that he gathers up his tools and quits at once.

Activity 10: Discussion

Discuss the following situation in your small group. Present your answers to the questions
below to the class.
1. What should Vladimir have done/said?
2. What do you think he can do to try to solve the problem and get his job back?

80 Steps to Employment
Communication In The Workplace

communicating in the workplace

For more information on… see resources listed at end of Unit 9
read Discovering Life Skills, YWCA, 1985

real forms used in the workplace

visit a local garage
for codes used to calculate estimates, see Chilton’s catalogue available at
your local library

Steps to Employment 81

In this unit you will learn about

the hidden job market
a network and how to build one
using small talk to build a network
leaving a voice mail message
You will also
build a network
practise leaving a voice mail message

Finding the hidden job market

Moving to a new country is a big change. You’ll find that you will learn English much more
quickly and Canadian life will become much easier if you meet people who were born in
Canada or have been here a few years.
You can meet new people by forming a network – something that you had back home with
your extended family members and others in your profession or community.
Your network includes everyone in your life. And it’s probably much bigger than you think!
People in your network can help you and you can help them.
Like making friends, making a network takes some effort. Learn what you can about people
in your network. Acknowledge their skills, experience, talents and needs.
Maybe the elderly woman who lives next door in your building is lonely and likes to chat and
have tea once a week. This arrangement is good because she has company and you get to
practise your English.
Likewise, maybe your daughter’s school needs volunteers for class trips. By volunteering to
supervise the children, you get to meet other parents and find out about babysitters, bargain
hunting and activities for your children. You can also learn valuable lessons from immigrants
who have been in Canada longer than you have.

Steps to Employment 83
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 1: Pronunciation
Listen to your instructor say the following words. Mark the stressed syllables, then practise
saying them out loud.
acknowledge has company valuable
has a company network bargain hunting

Activity 2: Fill in the blanks

Complete the following sentences with words from the box.
acknowledge has company valuable
has a company network bargain hunting

1. Before the shops close is a good time to go _____________________ in the market.

2. The woman ____________________called ABC Manufacturing.

3. His ____________ includes everyone in his community.

4. You can get _________________information from other parents at your children’s


5. The woman ________________ every Sunday after church.

6. Please ________________ the help of others by thanking them.

People in your network

Members of your family have different skills and backgrounds. You can tap into their
knowledge and their networks.
Your friends have skills you may not be aware of and they have their own networks. Ask to
be introduced.
Because you live close by, you have chances to develop close relationships. Find out who
your neighbours are. You know you already have one thing in common—your choice of

84 Steps to Employment
Communication In the Community

Religious community
People who share the same faith at your temple, mosque, church or synagogue can advise
and support each other on common issues.
Because you do business with them anyway it is easier to find out more about them and find
out if they might need your services.
You serve them and you have built up a relationship of trust. Ask them to serve you in
various ways, as suppliers, supporters and referrals.
Find out about their skills and knowledge. You may be able to help each other.
Clubs or association members
If you are involved with any community or professional associations or activities, you have
a ready-made network. Most people join these groups to meet others. The door is already
Volunteer groups
One of the reasons people volunteer is to meet others. Get to know your fellow volunteers
These are people you meet in work and social settings. Don’t waste the opportunity to begin
friendships and networks this way. Ask each person you meet to tell you more about him or

Activity 3: Pronunciation
Listen to your instructor say the following words and mark their stressed syllables. Then say
the words out loud.
residence acquaintances tap into
synagogue residents mosque

Activity 4: Matching
Match the words to their definitions.
1.___ synagogue a) people you know less well than friends
2.___ acquaintances b) where you live
3.___ tap into c) access
4.___ residence d) Islamic place of worship
5.___ mosque e) Jewish place of worship

Steps to Employment 85
Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 5: Building a network

In the first column, make a list of all of the people you see every day (e.g. all of the other
learners in your class, your family, people you see at the bus stop). Write their names or
describe them if you don’t know their names.
Do the same in the second column for all of the people you see every week (e.g. your
extended family, those where you worship, corner store owner, those in another class you
are taking).
In the third column, make a list of all of the people you see less than every week, (e.g. your
doctor, barber). Compare your list with another person in the class. See who has the longest
list in the class.

People you see every day People you see every week People you see less than
every week















86 Steps to Employment
Communication In the Community

Small talk
Sometimes the people closest to us have the information we need. It’s easy to approach
family and friends, but how do you ask for things from strangers? By finding things that you
have in common. In Canada, it is considered impolite to DIRECTLY ask people:
• where they live
• what they do for a living
• whether or not they are married
• what their religion is
While it is not necessary to know if someone is married, knowing if they have children,
especially children around the same age as your own children, can be important. Answers to
the other three questions can be important, but you just have to ask for them INDIRECTLY.
Some newcomers say that Canadians are cold because they don’t like to share this
information. In many countries, the above information is asked for upon meeting someone,
so that you know how to address someone. In Canada, however, we address everyone the
same way, regardless of how they answer the above questions.
Canadians generally keep this information private for fear of being discriminated against. If
someone asks them where they live and what they do and what their husband or wife does,
they are afraid the person asking may want to find out their socio-economic status, or how
much money they earn. Asking whether someone is married is tricky because in many other
countries one treats someone who is married with more respect. Many Canadians are not
married, are divorced or separated, live with a male or female “partner” without being
married and all of these people may have children. They are all treated equally.
In addition, many Canadians do not publicly practise any religion. They may be afraid to
answer these questions directly for fear that they may be discriminated against.
However, since it is important to get this information from the people in your network, so
that you may help each other, the best way to find out the answers to these questions is
INDIRECTLY, or by sharing information first. This way, others are more likely to share with
you. For example, if you say, “It took me an hour to get to class today. My bus was late!” the
other person will probably ask something like, “Where were you coming from?” After you
tell them from which part of the city you came, you can ask them where they came from.

Activity 6: Pronunciation
Listen to your instructor say the following words and mark their stressed syllables. Then say
the words out loud.
socio-economic address (verb) status

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Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 7: Make requests more polite

In groups of two, make the following DIRECT questions into more INDIRECT questions:

1. Do you have children?

2. Where do you live?

3. What is your profession?

4. What is your religion?

When you are finished, share your information with the other pairs in the class.

Activity 8: Find someone who…

This activity allows you to practise networking with the participants in your workshop. Find
participants who have the following things in common with you. You must change the
following phrases into questions. If your classmates answer Yes, write their name to the
right of the phrase. Get as many names as you can.

1. ... speaks the same language as you do

2. ... is from the same country as you are

3. ... shares your religion

4. ... lives in the same neighbourhood as you do

5. ... gets off at the same subway stop or takes the same bus you do

6. ... has children the same age as yours

7 ... has children in the same school as yours

8. ... worked in the same trade as you did

9. ... knows the same computer languages you do

10. ... has worked in English

88 Steps to Employment
Communication In the Community

Leaving voice mail messages

When you leave a voice mail message, make certain you relay all the following information:
• your name,
• the time you called,
• why you called,
• what you want the listener to do,
• how and when you can best be reached, and
• your phone number.
Take the time to record your message so that it sounds natural, relaxed and friendly. If you
are unsure of yourself, record yourself then play back the recording to make sure your
message is clear and to-the-point. The message should be less than a minute. You do not
want the caller to hang up.

Activity 9: Writing a message

Write down the message that you want to leave, practise it twice, then read it to the group
and get their feedback.

Who you are:

When you phoned:

Your message:

How and when you can best be reached:

Your phone number:

Activity 10: Speaking

Leave a message on your facilitator’s voice mail saying that you are sick and cannot make it
to class.

Activity 11: Listening

Listen to the messages you and your classmates left your facilitator. Give them feedback.
Did they include all the information they were supposed to? Was it clear? Was it too long?

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Automotive Trades Workbook

local volunteer centres

see the telephone book for your city
For more information on…
other ways to meet people and network
get involved in tenant meetings in your building
join your local community centre and join a committee or simply get
involved in some of the low-cost activities
visit your local union office

90 Steps to Employment

In this unit you will

assess your skills and knowledge
make a personal plan for the near future
discover community resources to help newcomers
You will also
make a personal plan for the next steps you plan to take

This self-assessment will help you think about your previous education, training, and
experience, your skills and knowledge, your interests, and help you make a plan of action.

The steps for this self-assessment are to:

1. consider your personal characteristics;

2. list your training, experience, and industry skills;
3. make a list of the first steps.

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Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 1: Your personal characteristics

These personal characteristics are seen as essential to becoming a successful automobile
tradesperson. Try to answer each question with a yes or no. If you feel that you don’t have
these characteristics, think about strategies that you can use instead.

Questions Yes No Strategies…

Personal characteristics and work ethic

Do you like to make your own decisions?
Do you have will-power and self-discipline?
Do you plan ahead?
Do you get things done on time?
Can you take advice from others?
Do you adapt easily to changing conditions?

Communication and social skills

Can you communicate clearly and effectively
in English both orally and in writing?
Are you confident in your customer service
Do you enjoy working with the public?
Have you worked successfully with clients and
employees in your previous jobs?

92 Steps to Employment
Personal Plan

Activity 2: Your skills and training

These questions focus on your skills and training. First, go through all the questions and
answer yes or no. Then, go back and look at all the questions for which you answered NO.
Try to think about what you can do to gain this knowledge or these skills. Are there courses
that you can take to help? Are there people who can help you? Are there ideas that you
need to reconsider?

Questions Yes No What can I do next?

Can you use a computer?
Are you able to use the Internet?
Education and training
Do you have the training that you need to work
in automotive trades?
Is certification or registration required in
Ontario for your occupation?
Do you have the certificate, diploma or degree
required to work in automotive trades?
Training and upgrading
Do you think you need upgrading or extra
training before you can practise your trade?
Do you know where you can get training in
your field?
If you were trained in another country, do you
need to upgrade your certification?
If so, have you collected information about
certification in Canada?
If not, do you know where to get this
Do you know what English skills you need to
work on?
Do you have your own tools?
Are you prepared to invest in your own set of
Are you familiar with tools and tool companies
popular in Ontario?

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Automotive Trades Workbook

Activity 3: A personal plan

Take all the NOs and make a short term plan. Choose five steps that you feel you can
accomplish this year and list them here:






94 Steps to Employment
Personal Plan

Activity 4: Research
To help you achieve your personal plan, use training and upgrading pamphlets, flyers and
calendars to find information for training and upgrading opportunities in your field.

Type of training Training providers Cost

English as a
second language



Job search

Co-op programs



Steps to Employment 95
Automotive Trades Workbook

visit Charity Village’s Web site at www.charityvillage.com for a listing of
volunteer jobs in the non-profit sector
For more information on…
visit www.voe-reb.org/welcome.html for a matching service for volunteers
and agencies across Canada
look in the Yellow Pages for volunteer centres in your city

community programs
look for pamphlets advertising community workshops
look for any ESL/mechanics classes, seminars or workshops in your
check your local community college

training and upgrading

for private colleges and vocational schools, look in the Yellow Pages under
computer training
for a list of Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, visit the
Ministry of Education and Training Web site: www.edu.gov.on.ca
visit the HRDC Interactive Training Inventory Service for Ontario at
connect to the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training’s Training
Hotline at 1-800-387-5656

language training/ESL
free ESL and word processing courses are available through the calendars
for boards of education and the bulletin boards at your local library

96 Steps to Employment

combination of two or more metals

a lightweight metal

spindle, either fixed or rotating on which wheels are fixed

premature ignition causing explosion in cylinder or exhaust pipe

rubber covering fenders

a licence to practise an occupation

device connecting and disconnecting transmission to engine


squeezed into a smaller space

links connecting two pieces of machinery

cover for electronic equipment behind steering wheel

depressions in hard material left by pressure or blow

tools or instruments

find the problem

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Automotive Trades Workbook

gears that allow rear wheels to rotate at different speeds while rounding corners

block used for stability

drive lines
transmit power from transmission to gears

glue-like material used to bond things

detailed outlines of work to be completed and fees

problems or irregularities

metal or plastic strips around base of car

used to sand rough surfaces

flat rate
method of pay based on work completed, not time

ventilated cover for the engine

crush into small particles

engine cover

greasing or oiling to prevent friction and grinding


courses needed to be taken before taking other courses


98 Steps to Employment

paint undercoat

where edges meet

gear coverings

still; unmoving

supports vehicle on its axles

transmits power from engine axle

regular inspection and repair

continuous back and forth movement

join using heat to bind metal pieces

tool used to turn bolts

a vehicle so damaged, it’s not worth repairing

one-piece body

voltage surge suppressor

an instrument that prevents voltage levels from increasing suddenly

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

Steps to Employment 99