Theresa Kerr is the MTAI Apprentice of the Month for August. The 29-year-old, fourth-year Light Vehicle apprentice with BP The Gap in Brisbane has impressed her trainer Kevin Ryan with the reliability and consistency she has shown over the course of her apprenticeship.
“She always completes her training tasks and her books, and she does revision prior to my visit to stay on top of her game,” said Kevin. “She has always been a top student.”
Theresa started work at BP The Gap in 2007, working in the service station. It’s an unusual starting point for a mechanical apprentice and her move into the workshop is an unusual story, starting as it does with problems she had with her own car and the desire to know how to fix them herself.
“I’d been working behind the service counter and I had a big job to do on my car, – not for the first time” said Theresa. “It just kept costing ridiculous amounts of money. I was 23 and working behind the counter at the BP knowing I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life. So I asked if I could learn how to do these things myself and that’s how it happened.”
For a year, Theresa worked as a tyre fitter at the BP before officially starting her apprenticeship when she turned 25, in 2011. She clearly enjoys the work and said she has been made to feel very welcome in what is still a male-dominated industry.
“I have never met another female mechanic while I’ve been doing this, though I do know they exist!” she said with a laugh. “I have heard some horror stories but it has been fantastic here – I have a great boss and I work with good people.
“And I like the variety of the work. It’s always good to have different challenges and we are always learning.”
As for her future – the apprenticeship is to be completed soon – Theresa obviously has a soft spot for BP The Gap.
“My co-workers and my employer have put up with a lot from me,” she said. “So, I’m not going anywhere. As long as they don’t sack me, I’ll be staying!”