Why did you apply for a role within the automotive industry?

I wanted to work in the automotive industry simply because I wanted to know more about cars.

I’d always been interested in the aesthetic of the vehicles, however wanted to learn more about the mechanics,  and to be able to work on my own car. I completed work experience in a workshop for two weeks when I was 16, and knew from then on it was what I wanted to do. Although I began this apprenticeship with little knowledge I was keen and excited to learn more.

How did you find the application process?

I found the application process well structured, which meant it wasn’t as nerve wracking and stressful as I thought. I completed my application form through the Government website and each stage was clear and easy to understand.

The recruitment team were incredibly helpful, and I was reassured that whenever I had any questions I was able to contact them. They guided me well throughout the entire process.

How did you prepare for meeting your new employer for the first time (at interview)?

I prepared for the interview by researching the company and the role in detail. I went into the interview with a good knowledge of the programme, the products and the company.

In addition to this, the recruitment team sent through helpful tips and pointers which helped me prepare.

What were your first experiences of the training centre?

The Performance Academy is very welcoming, especially the training team who work hard to look after each apprentice. Although nervous, I quickly felt comfortable and assured. Everyone in my group was also new and it was nice to share that experience with them.

The Trainers were always available when I needed any additional help, or was unsure on parts of the course. I was placed within quite a small group, and felt this was incredibly beneficial, as this meant the Trainer could give more guidance to each individual. Furthermore, my assessor was very helpful, and I knew that at any point I needed to contact him I could, and he would help me wherever I needed.

How have you found the workplace (dealership) environment?

I found that my dealership in particular was very supportive throughout my apprenticeship and made the 18 months easier and less stressful, as I knew that I had the guidance of my manager, mentor.

What advice would you give to someone that's considering following the same path?

I would definitely recommend this apprenticeship to others.. The Performance Academy were exceptional in helping me through the apprenticeship in such a short space of time.

The training was very good, and I knew throughout the entire apprenticeship what was expected of me. The programme offers the right balance between supporting you through the core training, as well as pushing you, so that I could achieve as much as possible.

What are your plans for the future?

I’d like to continue my training by doing more courses. I hope to go onto Diagnostic Tech and then onto Master Tech, and believe that this would be a great place to continue my training. In addition to this, I hope to become an Ambassador within the company, to try to encourage the next generation to join this industry.

In particular I’d like to encourage girls that they too could work within this industry, and to not be daunted by the prospect of working within a heavily male dominant environment.

What would you say is discouraging other young women from applying for roles within the workshop?

It is my belief that females are sometimes discouraged from applying for roles within the workshop.

I think that unfortunately there are stereotypes about female Technicians which simply aren’t true.

The work sometimes involves an element of manual labour and I think that some women may think that they won’t have the strength for some jobs. The good workshop has to have a strong and diverse team that works together well, so that everyone is working efficiently. We all have our own strengths and support one another.

In my opinion, there’s a misconception that being a technician is an individual role. That’s not true. We work as a team, regardless of gender.

What would you say to any young woman who is considering an apprenticeship as a technician?

Go for it! If this is the apprenticeship they would like to apply for then there is no reason that anyone cannot do well; male or female.

In my opinion, women should not be daunted or scared at the prospect of working within an environment that is predominantly male. I have proven myself that I am just as capable of doing this job.

I hope that other young women might look at what I have achieved and also my career aspirations and be inspired to join the industry.