The mechanics of tomorrow might love cars, but they’re also being attracted to the industry for other reasons. As skillsets change, gender balances improve and EV’s become more and more prominent, the mechanics of ‘yesterday’ are giving rise to the apprentices of the future.
Take Katrina Nilsson, for example, a somewhat rarity in an industry bursting with mechanics who often learnt ‘backyard mechanics’ from friends and relatives, long before their official training in the classroom began.
The 20-year-old apprentice, who is studying a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology with MTA NSW, admits that while she’s always loved cars, she didn’t know anything about them when she first entered the automotive industry. What she did know was that she “didn’t want to sit at a desk all day” and says she “wanted to work with her hands”.
But her initial lack of knowledge on the subject didn’t stop her from finding a passion and a place within the industry, where Katrina has since become a valuable member of her team.
“The teachers were all very understanding… Before I started in this industry I didn’t even know how to change a tyre! Whereas most of the other guys came from automotive families.”
Katrina credits her success to her understanding and supportive trainers at MTA NSW, who helped her develop her skills and knowledge of working on cars, while navigating career challenges.
Today, Katrina says her heart lies with her grandfather’s 1983 Datson, which she inherited. With her newfound knowledge of automotive, she hopes to one day restore the car to its former glory and even take it to Australia’s ever popular Summernats car festival.