Q&A with Red Seal Motorcycle Technician Amanda Koehler

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Amanda is a Red Seal Motorcycle Technician with 20 years of experience. Amanda wants everyone to feel comfortable to pursue their dreams, emphasizing the importance of growing inclusivity in the trades. 

How did you get into your skilled trade?

I knew I did not want to go to university but I wasn't sure what else was available. I had just got my class 6 motorcycle license to ride and figured I should learn how to repair some things on it so I could save some money. I looked into it and took the ELTT Motorcycle training at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and was encouraged to join the trade. I have never looked back since!

What keeps you motivated?

My Red Seal certificate means that I am able to go down different career paths and certifications. I was able to own my own shop with confidence and work as managers in existing ones. The first shop that I was hired at was Trev Deeley Motorcycles and they are highly encouraging and supportive of their technicians following through the Red Seal path. Everyone was a huge support that I worked with. I don't think I realized when I first started in this trade at the opportunities for growth. I've worked in custom shops, machine shops and now I'm able to teach all because I got the Red Seal. 

Why is it important to you for women to participate in the skilled trades?

I want everyone to feel comfortable and encouraged to pursue their wants and dreams. The trade needs to keep growing as an inclusive environment and lead the way for other trades. It's important to include everyone so that the most efficient and well rounded technicians are being promoted to work in industry. Being open to change and willing to teach and learn from all aspects is key for growth in any atmosphere.

What advice or message do you have for girls and women interested in pursuing a career in the trades?

If it something that you want to do then stick with it. Research areas of interest so you know what to expect mentally and physically from the job. Know what the proper pay scales are for apprentices. Make sure the possible locations and environment are something you are comfortable with. Go visit multiple places that are in that trade and reach out to the BC Centre for Women in the Trades (BCCWITT) or SkilledTradesBC so that they can help connect you with mentors and allies.