Northern Ireland: Member's drive for female HGV technicians

Policy manager for Northern Ireland, John Martin, met with Newry-based member Surefreight to discuss HGV technicians and in-house capacity to maintain a growing fleet of vehicles.

27th July 2022 1:28 PM

John spoke with Kevina Burns – an 18 year old apprentice – who having completed her NVQ level 2 was now working on her level 3 studies. Kevina undertakes most duties in the workshop and has a 100% pass rate on the vehicles that she assesses against a national average of 79%.

Family matters

Kevina explained that she has always had an interest in HGVs as her father is an owner-driver. But having left school at 16, she wanted to get into the sector immediately rather than wait to sit her HGV class C test.

As a woman working in a male-dominated environment, Kevina said she ‘worked harder’ to prove herself. At college, she was the only female in a class of 11 aspiring HGV mechanics. Despite receiving negative comments from a young age that she couldn’t break into the industry, she has met the challenges “head on”.

Setting a high bar

Surefreight’s commercial director Martin McGoldrick said: “Kevina is a fantastic example that all careers in haulage are open to and can be undertaken by females and she would like more young girls to join all positions within the sector.

John Martin said: “It’s great to meet someone like Kevina, who at 18 years of age is setting a high bar within a male dominated environment and despite all the perceptions and negatively surrounding her choice of career she is proving all the doubters wrong.

“The RHA has been at the forefront of promoting logistics as a career for all with fantastic opportunities for those who are prepared to work.”.