Kate Apted, winner of the 2018 Chisholm Education – ACM Parts Excellence in Automotive & Supply Chain Management Award proves it’s never too late.
Kate holds a Masters in Primary Education along with being a qualified Anthropologist lecturing at Monash University. Whilst completing her PhD, she decided to put her career on hold to raise her two sons. However, as her circumstances changed she took up a role as office manager, although this was short-lived and the role became redundant. So, in 2013 Kate decided to do something completely unconventional an undertake the combined Certificate II in Automotive Servicing and Certificate II in Automotive Mechanical Air-conditioning.
After completing her pre-apprenticeship Kate applied for over 200 apprenticeships and made countless cold calls in the Automotive industry but found that nobody would hire her, some even mocked her. Finally, Hallam Truck Care decided to give her a chance and have been proactive in their support for her ambitions. As an adult apprentice working for Hallam Truck Centre she had the opportunity to study Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanics and found out that she loved the critical thinking that was required of her as well using her skills to perform precision tasks. While being the only female in a male workshop does have its challenges, Kate enjoys her work and likes the idea of having broken personal barriers to be where she is.
Barry Jones of Hallam Truck Centre said: “Kate is breaking the stereotypes of the male dominated trade and with rapidly advancing and emerging technologies, equipment and tools, less muscle will be required I hope women consider the industry to be more accessible as a career option”.
Hallam Truck Centre staff say that working with Kate is awesome, she puts up with the boys in the workshop and can even out lift some of them. Kate gets on with the job and gets it done. She is headstrong and likes to do everything perfectly which is both her strength and her weakness. The industry has historically been a man’s world so it has it’s challenges working in this environment. Hallam Truck Centre and other similar businesses are working towards changing this. The staff say, it’s nice to work with women in the workshop, not just an office capacity and that their experience with Kate has made them consider taking on more women apprentices in future as more women are needed in the industry.
Chisholm and ACM Parts are proud to be encouraging all people to enter the automotive industry. “Kate is an inspiration to anyone wanting to start a career in automotive repair. Her incredible story shows just what is possible through hard work, determination and a never-give-up attitude,” ACM Parts Acting CEO Campbell Jones said. “ACM Parts is proud of our partnership with Chisholm Institute to deliver high-quality automotive education, and that we have been able to sponsor this award to recognise phenomenal student talent. We congratulate Kate on this well-deserved achievement and wish her every success in her future automotive repair career.”
Kate has completed the training component of her adult apprenticeship in 2017 and will complete her Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical technology apprenticeship in 2019. ACM Parts has provided Kate with a toolbox award prize.