A disabled Moss Vale woman with dreams of following her father's footsteps into a truck driving career has credited TAFE NSW with putting her in the driver's seat.
Amanda Young, 32 - a wheelchair user who is on the autism spectrum and living with bilateral hearing loss - refuses to let her health challenges interfere with her drive to succeed.
After completing a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care through TAFE NSW and working six years as an early childhood educator, Ms Young has just completed a Certificate II in IT in the hopes it will help in her quest to work as a truckie.
Truck driving remains an acute skills shortage area, with the Australian Industry Skills Transport and Logistics Skills Forecast finding over 80 per cent of employers reported experiencing a skills shortage in the last 12 months.
"It might seem an unusual job for a young woman but after my body couldn't hold up to childcare, I was thinking 'what next?'," Ms Young said.
"My dad was a truck driver and I'd love to follow in his footsteps."
Ms Young said the Certificate II in IT, which she completed in March at TAFE NSW Moss Vale, had bolstered her skills and confidence to be able to manage the log book side of truck driving.
She is now eyeing off a Certificate III in IT at TAFE NSW Moss Vale to build her skills further.
"The TAFE NSW course was great and our teacher was very good at explaining how to do each step," Ms Young said.
She said the disability support she received at TAFE NSW helped her navigate many of the unique challenges she faced.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of IT Terry Kofod said Ms Young was an inspiring example of how TAFE NSW could assist those living with a disability to fulfil their potential.
"It is extra satisfying giving students living with disabilities like Amanda the hands on, practical skills to chase the career she wants," Mr Kofod said.
"She can do outstanding work when she sets her mind to it and was proactive in getting additional work."
He said the Certificate II in IT was targeted at school leavers or those wanting a general grounding in IT skills, and covered areas including basic hardware, software, networking, social media, cyber security and web design.
To find out more about studying information technology at TAFE NSW Moss Vale, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.