After finishing secondary school in 2016, Cayla worked in the kitchen at a local restaurant before gaining a full-time job at a Warrnambool law firm.
Cayla completed a 12 month traineeship with the company before she started looking at different options at TAFE.
“I was looking at different pre-apps and things I could do at TAFE and I thought why not work in the industry of something I love doing? I was always helping Dad in the shed at home and when I was at school I was always with my mates working on motorbikes so I always had an interest in mechanics,” she said.
Cayla enrolled in the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation and loved every minute of it.
“I was apprehensive initially, but it really opened my mind and I really enjoyed it. It reassured me that it was something I definitely wanted to do,” she said.
After finishing her course, Cayla set out to find employment as an apprentice mechanic.
“While I had an interest in this field, I didn’t have any knowledge. The course gave me that knowledge and showed everyone I was serious about becoming a mechanic. It showed people I was committed,” she said.
Cayla said she was offered a week of work experience at Norton Motor Group and was lucky enough to be offered an apprenticeship at the end of that week.
Cayla has been employed in the service division at Nortons for four months and loves the work she is doing.
She said she was assisting in car servicing and soaking up as much information as she could.
Cayla said her long-term dream would be to become a qualified mechanic and take those skills into the Army.
“I would love to see where that could take me, but who knows what will happen,” she said.
Cayla said her teachers at TAFE had definitely prepared her well for the workforce and she would recommend the course to anyone – especially other females.
“I would tell anyone to just do it. If it’s something you really want to do don’t let anyone stop you and tell you that you can’t do something,” she said.
Cayla said the automotive industry was definitely a male-dominated field but everyone had been extremely welcoming and treated her exactly the same as all of the men.
“Everyone has been so great. It’s been so reassuring that this is what I want to do with my life,” she said.