A former motor vehicle apprentice from Duffield has delivered a keynote speech at an international conference in which she highlighted the sorts of initiatives needed to encourage more women and girls into the industry.
Catherine Treanor, 22, studied at the Derby College as part of her apprenticeship at Station Garage in Belper, before going on to work at Volkswagen in Derby.
She was then appointed as a business development manager with Electude UK, one of the world’s leading automotive e-learning providers.
Catherine was recently invited to address the North American Council of Automotive Teachers in Pasadena, Texas, and decided to share her experiences of an apprenticeship and ideas for recruiting more women into the industry.
Catherine said: “The audience were very interested in the apprenticeship route which they don’t have in the USA and were very engaged with some of my suggestions, including providing female students with additional workshop time, clustering females in groups from different male-dominated courses and better promoting success stories.”
During her time at Derby College, Catherine won was highly commended in the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Outstanding Achievers Award, and also represented her course at events to encourage more women into the industry.
She also completed work experience in Germany as part of Derby College’s European work exchange programme.
Catherine said: “My time at Derby College gave me the confidence not only to progress in my career but to develop my public speaking skills. I would love to do more of this.”
Derby College motor vehicle tutor Matthew Curtis added: “Cat was one of our outstanding students and we’re delighted her career is going from strength to strength.
“She has embraced opportunities and is a fantastic role model for all students.”
To find out more about the college’s courses, visit www.derby-college.ac.uk.