Sapphire Shining Bright

“It was always going to be cars.” They’re the words used by 23 year old MITO learner Sapphire McIntosh when describing her chosen career path.

StartUp® was perfect for me as it gave me the opportunity to work one day a week for an automotive electrician.

As an apprentice automotive technician for Birkenhead Car Repairs Limited, Sapphire is studying to complete a National Certificate in Motor Industry (Automotive Electrical and Mechanical Engineering) with strand in Light Vehicle (Levels 3 and 4). It’s a career she was destined for after enrolling in MITO’s StartUp® programme in Year 11.

Sapphire McIntosh

Apprentice Automotive Technician for Birkenhead Car Repairs Limited, Sapphire McIntosh

“I’ve always loved fixing things and using my hands,” says Sapphire. “StartUp® was perfect for me as it gave me the opportunity to work one day a week for an automotive electrician, and after that, I knew I wouldn’t be able to ignore it! From then on, it became all about gaining the credits required to enrol in a pre-trade course.”

After completing a year at NorthTec, Sapphire went looking for an apprenticeship, but found it somewhat difficult in the beginning. “Being a female, some of the workshops didn’t take me seriously. But I knew once someone gave me that chance, I would show everyone what I could do.”

Sapphire realised the effort required to complete an apprenticeship was going to be significant. “I knew it was going to be hard, and in the beginning, it didn’t come naturally to me. But I loved the practical elements and getting my hands dirty, so I kept at it. And although it took quite a bit of learning, I feel like I’m really switched on now which is a great feeling.”

Business owner, Jo Bornhauser, describes Sapphire as “an extremely valuable member of the team and, in a word, excellent.” She too reiterates the effort required to work in the industry and emphasises the need for qualified technicians. ”I think it’s vitally important to be qualified in the industry – one hundred percent! Anybody who wants to become an automotive technician needs passion and perseverance - and Sapphire has both. She’s progressing beautifully with her training and is a very willing and able worker who always goes the extra mile.”

With obvious passion abound, Sapphire’s decision to get qualified with a National Certificate was an easy one. “I really want that piece of paper to show what I have accomplished and prove to people what I can do! It will make things much easier for me going forward and help me to go further in my career.”

Crediting the support she’s received from both her employer and her MITO Industry Training Advisor, Brian Messer, as motivation to complete her apprenticeship, Sapphire is now just a couple of months away from becoming fully qualified. But don’t expect her to stop there! The enthusiastic learner is planning on continuing to learn as much as possible from the supportive people she works with and hopes to one day put all of her acquired skills and knowledge towards opening up her own workshop.

“That’s the long, long-term goal,” laughs Sapphire. “For now though, I love what I’m doing and I hope to make a great career out of it.”

It looks like Sapphire’s future is set to shine bright.

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