Zoe O'Neill and Synthany Watt (right) at a diesel automotive course funded by the Queensland Government's Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.
Zoe O'Neill and Synthany Watt (right) at a diesel automotive course funded by the Queensland Government's Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

‘Stuff you, I’m going to do it’: Teen sticks to career plan

FOR one truck-obsessed teenager, building a career around driving road trains was the plan from day dot.

Before she even began primary school, Synthany Watt, 18, wanted to know everything about trucks, trucking and mechanics.

"I love trucks - I want to go out west and drive the big road trains, past Toowoomba out in the country," Synthany said.

"It's really what pushed me to want to work on trucks - the fact there's nothing around way out there - I really like it out there."

But, while the industry is among those most traditionally popular among men, new data arising locally suggests women are flocking to it.

The information from the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training showed a 19 per cent growth in enrolments for trade courses in the automotive industry and a 32 per cent increase in engineering among women.

Synthany was a student among a cohort of women who just graduated from a 10-week Diesel Automotive course, which ran from Bundamba TAFE and taught participants mechanics for the transport industry.

The cohort at the diesel automotive course funded by the Queensland Government's Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.
The cohort at the diesel automotive course funded by the Queensland Government's Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

"I wanted to learn about working on trucks so I would know what I was looking at, if something happened to a truck while I was driving it," she said.

"The course was really to get your foot in the door and help you know what tools you're looking at and different ways to do things.

"It wasn't just engines and motors but it was wheels and tyres and learning how to wire things up properly."

Equipped with her new skills and the perks of networking, Synthany has a plan to help her build a career in the western Queensland countryside.

"The course got me some work experience with this really awesome company," Synthany said.

"I did a few weeks' work experience and the boss has actually offered me a job."

Synthany remembers when she had just graduated and was serving a customer at her part time job in retail.

"This gentleman asked what I was going to do so I told him I wanted to be a truck driver," she said.

"He laughed at me and said 'you did 12 years of school to be a truck driver? Really?' and I just thought, well, stuff you - I'm going to do it and I'll be earning more money than you one day."

The diesel automotive course provided students with a Certificate II in Automotive Pathways.

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.


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