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It didn’t take long for TAFE NSW student Renee Gibson to be recognised on a national level in a mostly male dominated trade.
The 21-year-old Penrith resident is completing her Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology at TAFE NSW Wetherill Park and has been awarded one of three Cummins South Pacific Award scholarships.
The scholarship will see Renee invited to exclusive professional networking events and be paired with an experienced trucking industry mentor for support.
As a third year trucking apprentice at Volvo Commercial Vehicles (VCV) in Prestons, Renee said her achievement was proof that hard work and determination pays off.
“The great thing about undertaking an apprenticeship is being able to take the knowledge, practical skills and work experience from TAFE NSW immediately into the workplace,” Renee said.
“The theory and practical aspects that I've learnt at TAFE NSW goes hand in hand with my training in the VCV workshop.”
Renee has always wanted to work in the automotive industry and believes that undertaking her apprenticeship training at TAFE NSW is the best option for her to get the qualifications she needs to be successful in her dream career. Her future is looking bright as motor mechanics is expected to experience the largest employment growth in the NSW Automotive Trades and Services industry over the next three years.
“I've really enjoyed the training experience and the skills learnt through TAFE,” she said.
“When I complete my apprenticeship training in the near future, I’ll be ready to continue with studying higher qualifications to gain more practical skills and experience to further my career.”
Australian Trucking Association Chief Executive Ben Maguire said as part of the scholarship, Renee will received full registration to the ATA's 2019 Technology and Maintenance Conference including social events, an assigned conference mentor, and return airfares and accommodation.
“Renee was given the experience and the tools needed to build her knowledge of the industry and develop practical skills,” Mr Maguire said.
TAFE NSW Automotive head teacher Brad Hutchins said Renee’s skills were a stand out in the male-dominated class.
“Renee is a great example of what we encourage in TAFE NSW automotive students; they can be whatever they want by learning the skills they need to get a head start in the industry,” he said.
The Cummins TMC Scholarships is an initiative that provides heavy vehicle apprentices with the experience and tools needed to develop industry knowledge and skills.
The scholarships were awarded to three heavy vehicle industry apprentices and gave them the opportunity to be hosted at the ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Conference (TMC), taking part in educational sessions and practical workshops relevant to their training and chosen career, while building professional networks.
To find out more about automotive courses available at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211.
 Risks and rewards: when is vocational education a good alternative to higher education? The Grattan Institute, August 2019