Vicky Clark has just completed her level 2 in Light Vehicle Maintenance at Rotherham College. She is planning to go on to level 3, and received a WEST bursary of £100 towards childcare and equipment costs.
Who or what inspired you to want to be a motor mechanic?
Nobody I know works in a garage so there wasn’t any one particular person who inspired me. But I had been a single mum for six years, and I wanted to get back out there so I decided to go to college. I had three choices: hair & beauty; media, hair & make up; and motor vehicle. I’ve always liked taking things apart and then putting them back together again, and I wanted a challenge.
As soon as I went for the interview for motor vehicle, they gave me such a lot of support – phoning around to see what I needed – that I thought, if they are going to help me out at this stage, then I know I’ll be able to get somewhere!
What is the course like?
I wasn’t sure at first about it, it was overwhelming and scary. There are about 14 people on the course, and only two of us are lasses. To start off we were the girls in the corner, but after a while nobody thought about it being guys and girls, and now we just get on with it.
I love learning new things, and I’ve learnt so much. The teachers really challenge you, and put you on the spot, and it’s great. They push you to find the answer, and that’s the only way you are going to learn.
I love stripping an engine and then rebuilding it, even taking the gear box out. I like the sense of achievement at the end of it, knowing you’ve done it and it works at the end.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
I wanted to be a ballerina when I was little, but I didn’t have lessons. Then I wanted to be a physio. I liked climbing and was a multi-activity instructor at one time. I’ve always been hands on and practical. I don’t think I could ever do a proper office job! But I never thought that I would work with cars.
Plans and ambitions?
I’m looking forward to my level 3 and want to get that passed – we do diagnostics, and can’t believe how computerised cars are these days.
Longer term I would like to do the MOT course, because that would come in very handy. One day I would love to have my own garage. When I’ve told some ladies that I am doing this, they look gobsmacked! They say they would like to go to a lady mechanic rather than a male one because they would feel more comfortable.
Advice to other girls and women thinking of doing motor vehicl?
Don’t worry about what anybody says – go for it!
We had a group of school children in college, and they were asking me what it was like. I explained that even though it is mostly lads, as a lass myself, I enjoy it. I encouraged them to go for it, because it is such a great course, and it is definitely not just for guys!