It’s a man’s world for new Sheffield apprentice Chelsea

Chelsea Taff, who has been taken on by RT Racing in The Star's Apprentice Challenge.
Chelsea Taff, who has been taken on by RT Racing in The Star's Apprentice Challenge.
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IT MIGHT seem like an unsuitable job for a woman – but Chelsea Taff is proving mechanics is not a man’s world.

The 17-year-old has put her first foot on to the career ladder at car specialists RT Racing, thanks to The Star and Sheffield Council’s apprentice challenge.

After leaving school with no qualifications and failing to complete a college course in mechanics, the future did not look bright for Chelsea, of Firth Park, Sheffield.

But help was at hand when she signed up to the scheme, which matches youngsters not in education, employment or training – NEETs – with potential employers and subsidises firms for an apprentice wage for up to two years.

RT Racing, based on Bailey Street in the city centre, specialises in TVR cars, meaning young trainees get hands-on experience in all forms of vehicle servicing.

Russ Harris, workshop manager at RT Racing, said: “She’s just got a natural ability. I was pretty shocked by how good she was when she came, she’s been doing things I’d expect apprentices to be doing in six months.

“We’re only a small team and we’ve been struggling to get an apprentice for a while.

“It’s so important to get the right person. That’s why the council’s scheme is so good. It really helps us financially as well.

“Chelsea is a bit like me. I left school with no qualifications and I know it’s not easy if you’re no good with exams and stuff. The way she has taken to the job shows she has the ability, she’s great with the practical side of things.”

Chelsea is the latest success story for the Apprentice Challenge, which is aiming to get 100 out-of-work 16 to 18-year-olds in the city into the world of work. Fifty have been signed up but more businesses need to come forward.

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