It's a man's world for one teenage apprentice

Malvern Gazette: Shannon Taylor at Avonside Motors in Evesham. Shannon Taylor at Avonside Motors in Evesham.

IT'S a man's world sang James Brown in 1966 and the same could be said by one Evesham apprentice.

Shannon Taylor, an apprentice with South Worcestershire College, is training to become a motor vehicle technician and one day hopes to run her own garage.

The 18-year-old attends the college in Evesham and currently spends one day a week at Avonside Motors in Abbey Road.

But it wasn't plain sailing for Miss Taylor, of Barnes Way, off Bath Road, Worcester, who has always wanted to be a mechanic but says she found it challenging to get an apprenticeship because she's woman.

"I wanted to do a trade job," she said. "I was always interested in how cars run. The college really make you want to get better as well. I had a year off to have my little boy. The college pushed for me to come back.

"I went round places in Worcester and as soon as I walked in they were like no straight away to me. It's free work but they don't even give you a chance. I went to my tutor and said I was finding it tough and would come round with me in Evesham.

"I think I went to about 30 plus places."

In the end Miss Taylor was given a job by Avonside Motors owner Ali Adlkish and workshop foreman Phil Wicks.

"It's really good here," she added. "I think it's a great job and more women should get involved. I think some people are put off and haven't got the confidence, it's quite overwhelming when you first walk in, but you get used to it after a while."

Mr Wicks, who gave Miss Taylor her position on the course when he worked at South Worcestershire College, said she was getting on well.

"She works really well," he said. "It's definitely difficult for women. It's still difficult once they get the training, they then need to get a job. That's where the experience comes in."

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