21 June 2018

Thirty one year-old mother of two, Emma Wills, is currently on track to fulfilling her automotive career aspirations after completing her Level 2 qualification in MOT testing with ABC Awards.

Although Emma was the only female on the course – located at the Test Centre Training School in Dartford, Kent – she never-the-less felt very comfortable and empowered whilst studying for her qualification. The Test Centre Training School itself is run by three females and one male – creating a very female welcoming environment that Emma felt was great for her, coming into a male dominated industry.

“There are only 300 female testers out of 60,000 testers in the UK and three of those work at The Test Centre, so it was a great achievement when I passed!”
Emma Wills

Emma always knew that she wanted to pursue a career within the mechanical engineering industry and had her interest in cars and mechanics ignited at an early age, as she grew up around a thriving garage environment.

Speaking of the start of her motor testing journey, Emma stressed:
“You could say that it’s all in my blood and was meant to be! My dad is the owner of The Test Centre, so I have been immersed in MOT testing since the opening in 1994. Since leaving school I was 100% sure in my career path. I started working in the garage office as an assistant and helping on the reception, but I knew this wasn’t always going to be the role I would be doing long-term.

“I then took a break to have my children and returned to work in 2016. The company had since grown massively and is now the busiest MOT testing station in the UK. On my return, I knew I wanted to be more involved and so I started my training to become an MOT tester.”

Beginning her three day course in June 2017, with some prior e-Learning, Emma successfully completed it at the popular Test Centre Training School which specialises in automotive courses and gained her reputable ABC Awards Level 2 Award (for vehicle classes 4 & 7).

The easily accessible qualification is an industry recognised grade that Emma is happy she can take with her worldwide. Among other things, the course covered the theory behind the MOT and the practical elements of the MOT test. She was assessed through an online exam and practical assessments.

“The course is very informative and I was taught everything I needed to become a tester. The Test Centre Training teach hands-on MOT testing and offer a wealth of experience within the sector. This is so important in helping candidates to understand the course and how to perform the MOT routine correctly to ensure vehicles are tested accurately to ensure the safety of the public.” Emma continued.

Since gaining her ABC Awards qualification, Emma has been able to get involved in a range of automotive duties that are essential to ensuring the safety and road worthiness of cars. Among other things, her role enables her to inspect all types of vehicles from small cars up to large vans. She is also fully equip to carry out inspections to the required MOT standards.

“My duties include ensuring that vehicles are in a safe and roadworthy condition, providing good customer service and reporting any findings back to the client. I take this seriously as I believe that the customer should know if there is anything wrong or likely to be wrong with their vehicle.

“What I like about my role is as a mum I take road safety very seriously, which greatly influenced my decision to be an MOT tester. Meeting new people and building relationships has also helped me to develop my personal life through better communication skills,” Emma added.

Obtaining her qualification has also given Emma the opportunity to not only test a range of vehicles in Dartford but also in the Test Centre’s flagship branch in Deptford.

Emma strongly believes that she would not have been able to become the professional MOT tester that she is today without gaining her ABC Awards qualification in MOT testing. She says, “becoming a tester has been financially beneficial for my future, my family and my career prospects.”

Her experience so far has given Emma the passion to strive for more automotive career opportunities. Her next aspiration is to be able to test classes 1,2,3 & 5, so that she can build her portfolio and skillset. Furthermore, she would also like to take the ABC Awards Level 3 course in MOT Test Centre Management.

Asked what it means to her to be a female working within a male dominated industry, Emma said:

“Working in a male dominated industry, I have found that I am respected and welcomed and to date I have not experienced any negativity. In fact, I have found the opposite which is encouraging and shows that in the 21st century, gender is certainly not holding women back. As long as you are knowledgeable, and can do the job, nothing should stop you pursuing your career dreams. I am so proud of what I have achieved!”

Asked what advice she would give to any women interested in getting into engineering, Emma said:

“Working in the automotive industry can be highly rewarding. For those women wanting to become a tester, I would recommend gaining experience working on cars and then completing the necessary qualifications. It’s important to do what you enjoy and after all women can do just as well as men in the automotive industry. “

To find out more about our ABC MOT Award Engineering qualifications, please click here and you can find out more about The Test Centre via their website.

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