Luciana Parker Jones, from Gateshead, is now starting her dream career with All Woods Audios, an automotive audio and interior specialist in Blaydon.
Luciana, 19, recently finished her third year at Gateshead College studying body and paint repair, and praised the college for its support.
The Women’s Engineering Society recently reported that only 7% of the UK engineering workforce in 2014 were female, something which Luciana hopes to see a chance in.
She said: “Since the first open day I attended at Gateshead College I have received so much encouragement and support in my chosen field, which was a complete contrast to what I had experienced previously. For a long time I had been advised by people that, as a female, it would be difficult for me to be successful in the automotive industry.
“I have noticed a lot more female students starting motoring and engineering courses throughout my three years at Gateshead College, which is great to see. I hope that any females who have been discouraged from following the career of their choice come to Gateshead College as they do everything they can to help you to get to where you want to be.
“Each tutor taught and inspired me to develop my skills across the board. I was taught how to weld, different paint gun techniques, how to restore new and classic cars and how to fit audio systems.
“I have always been passionate about cars and especially the aesthetics of vehicles, which is why I chose to do body and paint repair. I feel very lucky to have received the support I did so I could finally begin my dream career.”
Luciana had been building her experience in the industry with local company Paint Wizzards as a car paint technician for three years before gaining a full time role at All Woods.
Judith Doyle, a principal and chief executive at Gateshead College said: “I’m really pleased that Luciana followed her heart and developed her skills in an area that she is passionate about, it’s fantastic to see her get her qualifications and go on to career success.
“At Gateshead College, we pride ourselves on ensuring our advice is impartial; it’s not about making sure students come to our college but that they are well informed and can make a decision about what is the best option for them.
“We are here to give all of our students the very best start to their career. We do this by working in close partnership with many regional businesses to support the young people they employ with advice and measurable vocational training that meets workforce needs.”
Andrew Akley, owner of All Woods Audios said: “I am really looking forward to having Luciana on board with All Woods. We have an exciting future ahead and are looking forward to expansion and new projects.
“I offered Luciana the job because of her impressive range of skills that have been built through her college course. Her interview was very professional and she came across as work ready and passionate about the job.”
Gateshead College recently became just one of only two FE colleges in the country to receive the top rating of ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. The inspectors were impressed with the college’s approach to giving students an employment edge – a unique combination of high quality education and the real world skills employers look for.
To find out more about Gateshead College and the courses on offer, please visit www.gateshead.ac.uk