Hand Brake Turn

Our program model

Hand Brake Turn is a 5-week pre-accredited automotive work skills training program, that provides opportunities for young people coming out of youth justice or disengaged with school or community to gain a sense of purpose. Since its establishment in 1994, Hand Brake Turn has seen more than 10,000 young people complete the course, providing practical and technical motor mechanic pre-vocational training while also building life skills, confidence, and job readiness, creating positive outcomes and employment pathways.

2024 course dates are live! See below for more information! 

Mark’s Hand Brake Turn Journey


Hand Brake Turn assists young people between 15-25 years to transition into education and employment pathways through a 5-week training program offering three days per week of technical skills practice and life skill development.

  • Technical skills include automotive care skills, OH&S, industry knowledge, computer skills, finance, numeracy and literacy skills, and language.
  • Life skills include self-reflection, goal setting, managing expectations, creative expression, self-confidence, social and communication skills.

For more than 25 years, we have been successfully delivering this program with more than 10,000 students already trained and a high completion rate. We have been improving wellbeing for participants and increasing their engagement with their family and communities – our program works!

As part of our fiXit initiative we are able to sell or refit donated cars to clients or community members. Last year, 57 cars were donated which raised $31,000 for Hand Brake Turn. We appreciate donations of cars, bicycles, tools, and other resources to support our program and community.

Follow this link to our Facebook page to keep up with program activities and stories.

Hand Brake Turn full automotive and life skills course (5 weeks)

5-Week (100 hours) Course:

Classes for the following dates will be run at both our Sunshine West and Dandenong sites.

Course 1: 22nd Jan – 21st Feb – CLOSED

Course 2: 26th Feb – 27th March – CLOSED. 

Course 3: 22nd April – 22nd May – CLOSED. 

Course 4: 27th May – 26th June – CLOSED.

Course 5: 15th July – 14th August –  CLOSED

Course 6: 19th August – 18th September – PAUSED – Contact program coordinator for further information. 

Course 7: 7th October – 6th November

Course 8: 11th November – 11th December 

For specific queries, contact the team at hbtinfo@concernaustralia.org.au

Course Fees: Fees for the 5 week course will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Pricing will not be listed throughout the online enrolment process for this reason.

However, our standard Fee for Service charges are as follows: $9.35 per hour (x 100 course hours) = $935 

PLEASE NOTE: We will access available funding to subsidise the cost of training where applicable.

Concern Australia is a member of the  Learn Local sector, a network of more than 300 Government-registered community-based organisations that offer education and training opportunities for all Victorians.

We are experienced in working with young people who are vulnerable and exhibit trauma-based, at-risk behaviours. These young people are often caught up in a cycle of disadvantage, including intergenerational poverty, family violence, welfare dependency and mental health challenges that can result in low expectations and patterns of recidivism.

We respond to these young people using Concern Australia’s Triple C model, which has been developed to connect, coach and build community support around young people and their families.

It is a strength-based model that recognizes each young person comes with their own unique story, experiences and abilities, and walking alongside them towards independence means tailoring our support for each of them.

When a young person enters our program, we aim to take them on a journey with clear measures and goals in place to assist them to move into independence and the community as an independent young adult.


Looking forward to seeing you in the workshop!


It was a beautiful sunny day when Nathan randomly dropped into Hand Brake Turn to say g’day and have a chat to a couple of his old trainers. We took the opportunity to check in with him about what he thought about the course and how he was going now, nearly two years after doing the course. 

“Hand Brake Turn is one of those places where they are more than happy to give you a hand with anything,” said Nathan, as he worked on helping get a dent out of one of our staff member’s personal car. 

“I really recommend this place for any type of person, even if they don’t have mechanical skills. They teach it to you from the ground up, they don’t just show you – they explain why everything is the way it is.” 

Nathan first heard about Hand Brake Turn when a couple of his family members encouraged him to apply and work in our mechanic training workshop. He was interested in mechanics, but was also eager to develop his life skills for future work opportunities. From Hand Brake Turn he was able to find employment and he is really enjoying working.

As he recalls what he learnt from the course, “There are so many things I could say, it’s intense,” said Nathan. He liked how even though it may have been hard to absorb all of the information in a short time, he said he was thankful for the length, “you see the end of the tunnel and learn heaps.” Nathan was quite impacted by his trainers and the level of dedication they provided to each student. “They know how to make you more productive with your time and taught me many life long lessons! I learnt a lot of life skills, motor skills, tool recognition, computer programming, verbal skills, and English skills.”

Nathan said the most beneficial part of the course was experiencing, “a family feel environment, you don’t feel like an outcast, it doesn’t matter who you are – you’re respected!” He shared how trainers made the workshops enjoyable. Even cleaning up the work bench or car became enjoyable because of the positive work environment. 

The knowledge he gained from the trainers and course helped him purchase a new car suited to his needs. “It also helped me mentally, made me a more mature and stable person. You want to step up your game here.”

We’re proud of Nathan and all that he learned through our program that helped to prepare him for work.  We love that he continues to make time to pop back in to say hi and stay connected with Hand Brake Turn.