Candice Lollback, a Campbelltown hairdresser who always had a passion for cars, has revved up her career and is on her way to becoming a mechanical engineer thanks to TAFE NSW.
Females account for just 12.4 percent of the engineering industry according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and Ms Lollback is encouraging more women to take up a non-traditional trade at TAFE NSW to close the gap.
The 32-year-old worked in a hair salon for seven years before deciding to challenge herself and pursue an innate desire for a dream career in the engineering industry.
She is now completing a Certificate III in Fitting and Machining at TAFE NSW Campbelltown and launched her own business, Lollback Engineering, just before the global pandemic hit.
“I had days where I doubted my abilities being a female working in a non-traditional trade and I tear up when I think about the mentoring and effort my TAFE NSW teachers put into helping me achieve a career I have dreamed of since I was a little girl,” says Ms Lollback.
“My teachers feel more like family to me. They have been with me every step of my career change and have given me the confidence to start my own business.
“I’ve always had a passion for cars and now I have the hands-on skills and qualification to show for it; it’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.”
When her business was impacted by Covid-19, Ms Lollback expanded her services from installing grease pumps in trucks and machinery to servicing gym equipment, making cattle grids and toolboxes, which has been well received by those who are in need of these services.
Eddy Zussa, who is TAFE NSW head teacher of engineering and trades, said witnessing Candice’s transformation from scissors to spanners and her growth in confidence has been one of the highlights of his career.
“To see Candice go from being a shy student in a class full of males to now launching her own business and becoming one of the top achievers in the class has been an honour to watch,’’ he said.
“She is a perfect example of the career-changing impacts TAFE NSW can have on people’s lives if they explore their potential and find a career they will love,” Mr Zussa said.
To find out more about the engineering courses at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/engineering-courses or call 131 601.