How 21-year-old Gabrielle is paving her way in the workshop.

“Highly motivated”, “a really great worker”, “she just gets stuck in”. These are all phrases that have been voiced by Gabrielle Boyd’s training advisors and employers over the past few years as she has been doing her apprenticeship.

21-year-old Gabrielle Boyd is currently completing MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering at Midas in New Plymouth. She is hoping to have this finished by the end of the year.

Gabrielle’s interest in the automotive industry arose from her discomfort for sitting at a desk all day. “I was working a desk job before getting into an apprenticeship and didn’t enjoy being stuck inside or at a desk all day. I wanted to do physical work and decided one way would be to get into an automotive apprenticeship.”

Gabrielle Boyd is completing her New Zealand Certificate in Light Automotive Engineering. through MITO.

Gabrielle was living in Hamilton when she began her apprenticeship and contacted local businesses to get started. “I contacted a few local businesses and one of them had a pre-trade course available. I signed up and was able to get my Level 3 pre-trade automotive engineering qualification. Once I had my Level 2 and 3 qualifications, I was able to move up and get into a full apprenticeship with another Hamilton business.”

Part way through her apprenticeship she moved from Hamilton to New Plymouth. Moving towns Gabrielle thought it would be impossible to carry on. “Moving from Hamilton to New Plymouth I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to get a new job. Having not completed my apprenticeship and being halfway through was a big concern for me.” However, with perseverance and great references she was able to get employed. “I put my CV out to a few different automotive places around New Plymouth and contacted a few mechanic shops. Through this I was lucky enough to get the job with Midas.”

Gabrielle’s current employer Brenan Emson says that her previous experience stood out as a factor in hiring her for the job. “We were looking for a new apprentice as our old one had left. Gabrielle’s CV came across our desk and I saw that she had real world experience in an automotive shop. This made it an easy choice for us to select her for this role.”

Gabrielle is enjoying her role with the larger jobs being her favourite part. “I really enjoy the bigger jobs at work. I love removing engines and taking everything apart and putting them back together. Just seeing how everything works together and being able to put it back so it’s working again is really enjoyable.”Gabrielle has shown great motivation and determination in completing her apprenticeship. Brenan has found Gabrielle to be a great employee. “Gabrielle has been awesome as an employee and as an apprentice. She gets stuck in and does the work. She tries to find the fixes to the problems that she comes across. She’s just been really good.”

In the future Gabrielle would love to specialise in engine rebuilds, but is also looking at getting her Warrant of Fitness certificate as well.

As Gabrielle nears the end of her apprenticeship, she shares some advice for future apprentices. “Stick to one job at a time and get it done. Make sure you are informing your boss about what you need to do to get your apprenticeship completed. It is all about communication.” And if there are any woman apprentices out there, Gabrielle says not to hold back. “Sometimes people are surprised that I am a woman in the industry and can underestimate what I am capable of. However, I just stick to the jobs at hand and do my best to get it done. It is also a great feeling to surprise people with what you can achieve.”

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