Emma Crook, 16, has started her school-based mechanics apprenticeship, which includes hands-on experience in the workshop at Q
Emma Crook, 16, has started her school-based mechanics apprenticeship, which includes hands-on experience in the workshop at Q

Emma?s driving ambition is to one day race cars

By PATRIZIA REIMER

WITH a driving ambition to be a car racer, Emma Crook has a lot to prove in a mostly male world.

And she needs to get her licence too.

The 16-year-old Year 11 student is among the first in NSW to take on a school-based apprenticeship and has chosen to work with cars.

Emma works under bonnets at Ballina Quayside Holden on Mondays, studies at Wollongbar TAFE on Wednesdays and works towards her HSC at Ballina High the rest of the time.

"I want to be a race car driver, that's my dream," Emma said.

"I love it, I love to go fast in a car. I went to the Royal Easter Show and talked to the Holden racing team and they said I needed to know about cars.

"My mum serviced all our cars, and if there was anything wrong with a car she would fix it. When I was little I would help."

Emma is one of nine Year 11 students starting apprenticeships this year at Ballina. Ten trade schools based at school and TAFE sites are part of an $18 million, four-year State Govern- ment program aimed at addressing skills shortages.

Ballina is the first school in the program, and Emma is one of the first to start her training. She did her work experience last year at Quayside and loved it.

"We serviced cars, changed the wheels and oil and did the brakes," she said.

"I just wanted to do more stuff and learn heaps more. It was scary at first because it was all guys, but once I got to know them it was really cool."

Quayside general manager Andrew Meade said Emma had excellent ability and enthusiasm.



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