Leading training provider in England and Wales, JTL, is committing significant investment and effort for the second year to confirm there is room in the electrical and heating and plumbing sectors for women.
Its Ambassadors Initiative, where bright young women take responsibility for sharing information about apprenticeships for young women in the building services engineering sector, is continuing into a second year.
JTL has again recruited a number of young women from among its ranks, currently in apprenticeships or having just completed them, and supported by JTL, who are dedicated to spreading the word that women can make great electricians, plumbers and heating installers.
The new ambassadors are: Chantelle Browne from Thetford in Norfolk; Charlene-Ann Jennings from Stoke-on-Trent; Alice Duarte from Chelmsford; Katie Baldwin from Nuneaton; Meleisha Stuart from Huddersfield; Samantha Jones from Coleford in Gloucestershire; Lucy Suggett from Chard in Somerset; Hedy Navarro from Huddersfield; Lisa Marie Wood from Manchester; Adele Claire Walsh from Wigan; Rebecca Ashcroft from Burton-on-Trent; and Phoebe Stockford from Oxford.
The JTL Ambassador programme was a great hit last year with the ambassadors appearing around the country at events and undertaking interviews locally and regionally with the media. They shared the message that women can not only be excellent tradespeople, but many are already and offer something vital for professions that are still predominantly male oriented and still seen by many – inside and outside the professions themselves – as purely male domains.
Launched in 2013 at the House of Commons, the aim of the JTL Ambassador programme is to encourage greater understanding among young women of the career opportunities that are available in building services engineering.
Whether pursuing an interest in electrical, plumbing or heating and ventilating, women leaving school or college are being asked to consider the apprenticeship opportunities that exist and to see these occupations as not solely being the territory of men.
Among a first grouping of young Ambassadors have been women who have made major successes of careers in the sector. These include extending the work of their employer into some new areas as well as others who have gone beyond their apprenticeship to take on significant roles in support of national and local infrastructure projects or in creating a business of their own.
“A failure to raise the understanding and appeal of working in building services engineering among more women could be depriving the industries of half the young talent coming from education into work,” said Yasmin Damree-Ralph of JTL.
An electrical apprenticeship in either installation or maintenance at Level 3 takes four years to complete, while a plumbing apprenticeship at Level 2 can be tackled within two years with the option of continuing forward to achieve Level 3 after a further two years. So many well-respected and suitably rewarded people in the industry started their careers as apprentices and maintained this progression route for new staff that they have engaged.
“There are a number of well documented case studies of women setting up their own companies in these traditionally male dominated sectors and making a serious success of their business,” said Yasmin.
“Many women live on their own and feel much more confident invitin