Vocational training has had a long history in the education system in Northern Ireland, helping individuals to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career.
For anyone considering a career in the motor vehicle industry, female apprentices Shanice Murray, Courtney Robinson and Chloe McCrossan are a great example, as all three continue their studies in what was once considered a male dominated industry.
The number of women in motor vehicle careers is increasing, and Shanice Murray, from Killyclogher, explains that her studies in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair stemmed from a natural childhood passion for cars.
She says: “I was always interested in cars and rallying in particular, but when my car broke down a few times and I wasn’t able to fix it myself, I started to consider learning about the mechanical side of things.
“South West College was the best place for me to do that. I think female involvement in these courses and on these career paths is going to continue and increase and it’s great to see.”
Chloe McCrossan, from Omagh, has also been thriving in her motor vehicle studies, although she admits that when she first started she hadn’t been expecting to see many other female students on the course.
She says: “ Mechanics has always been an interest of mine, but the thought of being the only girl on the course was a bit daunting, so I was delighted when I saw two others in the class.”
Courtney Robinson, from Strabane, agrees with her classmates and encourages other students to consider options in the motor vehicle industry.
Courtney says: “I found that by following my initial passions for cars and car maintenance, a variety of pathways have opened up for me.
“I’d certainly recommend anyone who shares those interests to come along and see what is on offer to them.”
n To find out more about automotive courses at South West College please visit www.swc.ac.uk/learn/vehicle-maintenance.