Lydia’s Story

Lydia Harrison lives in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire. She has just finished her level 1 in Vehicle Maintenance at Dearne Valley College. She received a WEST bursary of £75 in 2016 to pay for travel costs and equipment for her course.

What inspired you to want to work with cars?
My inspiration for a non-traditional trade is because I like to solve problems and fix things. I’ve done some work experience volunteering at a local garage to gain more experience in the trade. I always really wanted to do something hands on and practical, and I think the trade I’m going into offers this the most. I fancied doing something different and wanted to challenge myself!

Did you have any concerns about going into a male-dominated area?
I knew it would be a challenge, but I’ve stuck by it. Having another female in the class really made a difference, although we didn’t talk at first. All the lads were mucking about so once me and her got to know each other we bonded like glue. I think without her I would have been very quiet and not spoken to anyone because I’m quite shy.

What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be a teacher. I used to play teachers and thought about teaching maths at secondary school. Mind you, I’ve changed my mind now: I wouldn’t want to put up with all the boys!

What are your plans and ambitions?
I am starting my level 2 in Light Vehicle Maintenance, and then I want to go onto an apprenticeship program with a car dealership working as a service technician.

What advice would you give to other girls and women thinking of doing what you do?
Go for it! There’s a lot of support out there.