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City & Guilds records trebled number of women qualifying as mechanics

Figures from the City & Guilds organisation on its NVQ qualification awards in motor vehicle maintenance and repair show that the number of women gaining jobs as mechanics has been rising for the past three years and increased more than 300% last year. “Manufacturers like Ford, Toyota and BMW have spent quite a lot of time and effort trying to market the industry to females and I think that is paying off,” says John Soden, product manager for motor vehicle courses at City & Guilds.

Friday September 5th saw another landmark for women in the motor trade. The Insitute of the Motor Industry's 2003 award for the best technician was won by a woman for the first time. The winner, Emma Roe, 19, from Doncaster, works in a paintshop four days a week while studying on the fifth.

From this month, 14 year olds become eligible to take part-time, pre-apprenticeship vocational courses at technical colleges while still at secondary school. “Girls of 14 who may have considered engineering-type courses will now have the opportunity to enrol and see if they like it, so I think we can expect greater uptake,” says Stuart Brooks, head of public relations at the IMI. At present, only 392 of the IMI's 24,387 members are women.

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