A new 'pilot program' by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia (FCA) has given nine women an opportunity to get a closer look at the career opportunities available to them in the automotive trade sector.
Called ‘Women In Auto Trades’, the pilot program was run through Sydney TAFE.
FCA said it’s the first of its kind in New South Wales.
Nine women aged between 19 and 40 years took part, undertaking a five-week full-time course at Sydney TAFE’s Ultimo campus.
With the course now complete, members of the group say they are keen to pursue an apprenticeship in the automotive industry.
FCA says the group will join just 614 female mechanics in Australia if they complete their apprenticeships, with women comprising just four percent of mechanics employed in Australia.
In NSW, the number is just 1.2 percent with FCA saying around 22,000 positions for skilled mechanics of either gender are currently unfilled across Australia.
“I was studying criminology at university and actually dropped out to come and study auto trades here at TAFE,” Amanda Stevens, 40, said.
“It will enable me to go from being a bus driver to fixing them. I’m really attached to the buses and this course is the perfect transition for me.”
FCA President and CEO, Pat Dougherty, said the initiative was important for the industry.
“We couldn’t be prouder to be involved in this important initiative. My predecessor, Veronica Johns, was the first female CEO of an automotive company in Australia, so encouraging more women to join the industry is a cause we feel incredibly strongly about,” Mr Dougherty said.
Head Teacher, Glenn Martyn, outlined the influences of women in the industry, saying 65 percent of all new cars were purchased by women and women were more likely to present a car for servicing.
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