Like most others, Emma Gormley from Paisley began secondary school not knowing what direction she wanted her life to go. After speaking to careers advisors at her school, Emma decided to embark on a career in which she could explore her love of cars. It is at this point that Emma enrolled on a Light Vehicle Maintenance course at West College Scotland, which she was able to study alongside her Highers. Emma thrived on this course and it confirmed her passion for cars and her desire to work with them. So much so that, on completion of her course, Emma began another car-related course – F24 Greenpower.

The Greenpower course aims to inspire engineers of the future and, while the main aim is to build and race a formula 24 car, its many other elements include raising money to buy materials, creating a sponsorship proposal and presenting this to companies, upcycling disused materials, working within a team, working to tight deadlines and competing against other teams. Emma is the first to admit that school wasn’t for her, and she fully embraced a learning environment where practical work was key. Having the chance to present to large companies pushed Emma out of her comfort zone, but this was a challenge which she rose to, and she was the main driving force behind persuading Arnold Clark to invest in the F24 Greenpower project. Being challenged on a weekly basis was good for Emma, and she credits this for keeping her interested and motivated to continue her studies.

“College improved my handiwork skills, problem solving and especially my confidence”.

Fast forward a few years, and Emma is an entirely different person to the one who started school not knowing what she wanted to do. Emma continued at West College Scotland after Greenpower, volunteering with the Bloodhound project. This project, which aims to inspire youngsters to consider a career in engineering, was ideal for Emma – it allowed her to share her passion for the motor vehicle industry while also building her presentation skills.

Emma has excelled in her studies and work experience and is now undertaking an apprenticeship with Arnold Clark. Not only that, but she has recently been announced as the winner in the CV Building category at the Renfrewshire Employability Awards 2018, coming out on top amongst tough competition.

“It feels amazing to know that everything I have worked for has had an impact and that my efforts have been recognised by industry professionals”.

Emma left West College Scotland as a well-rounded individual – knowledgeable, confident in her abilities and determined to make an impact in the motor vehicle industry. She is aware of the challenges which face women in the industry, but more determined than ever to overcome these and to make a success out of herself.

A big congratulations to Emma for her Renfrewshire Employability Awards win, and we wish her the best of luck in her future career.

In order to find out more about, or apply for, our motor vehicle courses, click here.