Women drawn to TAFE NSW heavy vehicle courses

Paris Knight is one of six females enrolled in TAFE’s Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.

PARIS Knight, from Nana Glen, is one of six women enrolled in TAFE NSW’s Certificate III of heavy commercial vehicle mechanical technology at TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour’s campus.

Female enrolments are increasing, edging into the 87-per-cent male dominated transport, postal and warehousing industries.

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Future thinking is driving Paris’s trend-bucking studies.

“When I complete the TAFE NSW course, I will be a qualified mechanic, servicing trucks as well as replacing and rebuilding engines,” she told News Of The Area.

“No two trucks are the same, which means each day is different and the job is always different.”

Diesel motor mechanics are listed on the ‘Skills Priority List 2022’, a report that found the estimated vacancy fill rate was particularly low for occupations in automotive trades.

In tandem with her studies Paris has an apprenticeship working at Mavin Truck Centre in Coffs.

“My work will also support me to get my truck licence, potentially next year, which is something I am really interested in as it expands my skill set.

“My current job is at a dealership, so I am primarily servicing and maintaining trucks, which I am really interested in.

“But the possibilities for a qualified diesel mechanic are huge,” said Paris.

“You can go work in the mines, work in servicing a fleet or even start your own business,” she said.

Paris came through TAFE NSW as a TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET) student while in high school, which she says put her in a strong position to gain her apprenticeship.

She has always been drawn to the practical skills needed in mechanics, having grown up rurally and learned mechanical repairs from a young age.

“I knew I was always interested in mechanics, having helped my dad do our own repairs growing up in the bush.

“The TAFE NSW TVET course helped me get ahead and turn that interest into a real career path,” she said.

“This qualification means I can work in an industry I’m interested in, where there is plenty of work and I can earn a good income and stay living locally.

“There is more support for females these days, I do believe the stereotypes have been broken,” she said.

“My teachers at TAFE NSW are supportive and encouraging, as is my workplace.”

Dealer principal at Mavin Truck Centre, Dean Mavin says Paris has a great skills base through her TAFE NSW training and a positive attitude, which makes her a valuable employee.

“This is a fast-evolving industry with huge technical and environmental advancements being made all the time.

“We have several female apprentices, and they each adapt to new knowledge quickly.

“We need people like that in this industry,” he said.

“It’s a great time to be an apprentice, with strong incentives in place to accelerate their career and a strong pathway to more senior roles.

“We are fortunate to have heavy vehicle courses here in Coffs Harbour through TAFE NSW, as there is strong demand in this region for these workers,” said Dean.


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