A Coleg Cambria student recently hit top gear at a national skills competition.
Kaisha Madeley beat her eight male counterparts in the Automotive Technology category at Skills Competition Wales in Cardiff.
Kaisha, from Wrexham, had earlier won the North Wales regional title and now hopes to compete for a place at Worldskills UK LIVE in Birmingham later this year.
The 18 year-old grew up wanting to become an automotive technician and is now realising her dream with the support of lecturers on the Diploma Level 3 Motor Vehicle course at the college’s new £10m engineering complex on Bersham Road.
“The regional skills contest was held at Cambria, so I wasn’t too nervous,” said Kaisha, who lives with parents Gareth and Lynsey, and siblings Leon, Tori and Dakota.
“I was shocked to win and then it was on to the Welsh Skills final in Cardiff, where I wasn’t expecting to place anywhere as there were eight clever guys competing and I wasn’t used to the equipment or the surroundings.
“We were assessed academically and for our skills and ability, as well as how we worked on the vehicles and rigs against the clock in timed sections.
“To win was a big surprise but of course I’m absolutely delighted, and my family and the motor vehicle team at Cambria are very proud.”
A former pupil at Ysgol y Grango, Kaisha is also celebrating an apprenticeship with the Welsh Ambulance Service, where she helps to repair and maintain ambulances and rapid response vehicles.
Her love of cars comes from her Dad, who enjoys fixing and modifying engines, though she plans to go one step further and make a career of it.
“I used to watch him tinkering around with engines and the bodywork, I was absolutely fascinated by it,” she said.
“I know it’s not a job that girls traditionally do but I love it and am really enjoying learning more.
“I would encourage anyone to enter this industry, it’s hard work but so enjoyable.”
Kaisha is now preparing for a shot at the WorldSkills title and promises to do her “very best” with the backing of the team at Cambria, including instructor/demonstrator Mark Evans.
Mark said: “Kaisha is an absolute credit to everyone here at Bersham Road, she performed brilliantly in the competition and is an inspiration to any youngster out there who wants to follow a career in the automotive industry.
“I’ve no doubt she’ll do exceptionally well at WorldSkills if given the opportunity, and once again represent Coleg Cambria with pride at the highest level.”
Coleg Cambria Bersham Road is one of the most successful automotive training centres in the UK, offering vehicle maintenance and repair at all levels including fast-fit and hybrid vehicle qualifications.
For more on the wide range of courses at Coleg Cambria, visit www.cambria.ac.uk
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