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Yvette Thompson

Apprentices are the future of the industry, and if Yvette Thompson is a typical example of what to expect from today's apprentice, she is already a savvy operator and shows that trademark passion for automotive that so many in the industry share.

"When I was 8 years old, I would work on cars with my grandfather and I loved it. It was great spending time with him. He was always tinkering and inventing things. I worked alongside him all of the time until he passed away on my 18th birthday.

I am a certified massage therapist, but I got bored. I did this because at the time I was too scared to become an apprentice mechanic as it is a male dominated area. Then I got the courage to do a pre-apprenticeship and loved it.

When I first started my apprenticeship I found it nerve-racking. Being a female, everyone was staring at me. So I just started talking to them and broke the ice. I guess it's like starting anything new.

They let me jump in and have a go. Now, when I get stuck I ask the senior technicians for help and they talk me through. It's very hands on which I love. It's exciting tackling something new.

It's great to learn how to fix cars and not rely on men to do it for you. You gain confidence speaking with other people and learn not to get intimidated. So you feel stronger.

Apart from the guys at work, I have Effie my mentor and she helps by listening. I can talk to her about issues inside and outside of work.

My Mum is very supportive. Last night she gave me Grandpa's first toolbox. It was really sweet. She said she knew Grandpa would want me to have it and that he always wanted me to do an apprenticeship.

I feel happy coming to work each day so I know it is the right career choice for me. I highly recommend this career. If you're considering it, don't be scared.

First, you have to have the desire, then if you really want to do it, do it. I'd suggest a pre-apprenticeship as that gives you a good insight. What gender you are has no effect on what you do and how you do it. It sounds like a bigger deal than it really is."

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