WHEN IT comes to car repairs then MOT doesn’t stand for Male Only Technician…just ask Jody Hopwood.
As Saddleworth’s only officially recognised female MOT tester, Jody is breaking new ground in a previously male dominated business.
And business is booming for the self employed mum who divides her time between the Woodend MOT Testing Centre in Springhead and a garage in Hyde.
“I have been in the trade since 1997,” explains Jody. “Initially, I was supposedly just doing paperwork but in the end I finished up in the workshop down stairs.
“But it was only when I actually brought my car in for its MOT at Woodend that this all became possible.”
Chatting with owner Andrew Hodgkiss, she outlined her passion for cars and has never looked back.
“Andy and I hit it off straight away and he said I was welcome to come down and help them out if I ever wanted,” she explained.
“I didn’t want to get under their feet but the lads here were great and it’s gone from there.”
Jody attended an intense three-day training course to bring her up to speed and she finished top of the class with 90 per cent.
“I still wasn’t allowed to log onto the system and do an MOT test but I could do training alongside Andrew,” she told the Independent.
“I picked it up from there and when I felt confidant Andrew phoned the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
“They sent down the boss man and he watches you do an MOT. You get points if you miss anything, with a total allowance of 12 points. I passed with flying colours.
“Now, I can test anything I can drive. As yet, I haven’t got a full bike licence but I can test Class 3’s three-wheel vehicle, Class 4 cars and all the way up to mini buses and vans.
Jody hopes her story will encourage more girls to follow in her footsteps. “As long as you don’t mind hard work, long hours and getting a bit dirty it’s a great job,” she quipped.
Boss Andrew added: “The exams are very stiff but Jody got the best marks in the class on the both practical and written exams. We are very proud of her.
“It’s rare to see a woman in a man’s world. Hopefully she’ll be a bit more approachable for women who don’t like coming into a garage full of men!”