Since being crowned 2017 NTDA Tyre Technician Apprentice of the Year, Kimberley Locker has been reaping the benefits of her industry win. Prize sponsor Autoparts Garage Equipment, leading automotive equipment supplier, reflects on her achievement to date as she offers some inspiring advice for young apprentices.
Since winning the award, Kimberley has been promoted to Assistant Manager and is now based in the STS Tyre Pros depot in Aylesbury. She was also delighted with her Matco tool box, donated by Autoparts Garage Equipment and is already putting it to good use.
Describing her win as “an amazing feeling”, she said that she “felt honoured and proud”, proving to herself that all the hard work she had put in over the previous two years had paid off and been acknowledged.
Kimberley said: “When I first started my apprenticeship I wasn’t 100% sure it was the field of work that I wanted to be in, but it didn’t take me long to realise that I was in the right place and in the right hands. I completed my apprenticeship early, after receiving some fantastic training, and went on to become the assistant manager of the (Aylesbury) centre I was based in.”
Her passion for apprenticeship schemes has come as a result of her own experience, which she credits as fuelling her personal development by helping her grow. She has since delivered several presentations at her old secondary school, to encourage pupils to consider apprenticeships after they finish their studies as a promising career option.
Kimberley explained: “I also urged the girls not to be afraid to enter a male dominated industry, as you can still thrive and be the best if you’re female!
“In the future I hope to be involved with looking after and assessing apprentices because I want to help young people become the best version of themselves and help inspire a positive attitude towards women in the motor industry. I truly believe that a decent apprenticeship is the most powerful way to teach young people coming into this trade from school and I want to be involved with that as much as possible!”
Autoparts Garage Equipment is one of the UK’s largest garage equipment companies and was established in 1996. It is involved with the sales, installation and servicing of a vast range of garage equipment and workshop tools including vehicle lifts, MOT equipment, tyre changers, emission testers and wheel balancers.
John Mcardle, Autoparts Garage Equipment Division General Manager, said: “We were delighted to present Kimberley with her very own Matco tool box and she deserves every success. It’s fantastic that she has excelled since winning the award, and we’ve no doubt that she’ll be a positive role model, not just to young people considering an apprenticeship in the field, but also to young women wanting to carve out a career in a male-dominated profession.”