Blogs (Media Centre)

A young Ballina woman has transformed her self-taught mechanical skills into a career by starting an apprenticeship with Ballina Mechanical and LPG.

According to Australian Government Job Outlook, women currently make up only 1 per cent of Mechanics and there are likely to be around 23,000 job openings over 5 years.1

Now in her second year of studying the Certificate III in Light Vehicle Automotive at TAFE NSW Wollongbar, 22-year-old Jessica Watson is the only female apprentice in her class but that is not something that deters her from succeeding. 

“My TAFE NSW teacher is fantastic and he explains everything with a lot of depth. 

“I am really enjoying my apprenticeship and the variety of cars I get to work on. I learn something every day and it is great being able to put in practice the skills that I learn through my course.” 

After working on cattle stations around rural Queensland and teaching herself how to fix the farm equipment, Jessica decided to turn her passion into a career with a local employer.  

Ballina Mechanical and LPG Manager Gavin Meuffels said “Jessica is a true professional and her work is a positive reflection on the industry in general.” 

“We ensure our staff are trained by TAFE NSW because they provide first-class training and are the largest and most well-established training provider in country.” 

Jessica’s advice to other women who are considering a trade-based career is “If you’re thinking about it and you’re passionate about it, then just do it.” 

“Don’t think twice. People will support you when show that you are willing to learn and want to be taken seriously. Although it was intimidating at first, I learnt how to hold my own and I haven’t looked back.”

The NSW Government has invested over $250 million into apprenticeships to address skills shortages across the State. Fee-free apprenticeships were introduced by the NSW Government in 2018. 

To find out more about the range of automotive courses at TAFE NSW visit or phone 131 601 


Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer