National Apprenticeship Week: 5th-9th March 2018
Less than one in every thousand electrical contractors in the UK is female*.
Unfazed by that statistic, apprentice electrician Gemma Scarlett, 22, from Dagenham is determined to carve a great career for herself in a sector she loves.
Gemma studies at Barking & Dagenham College one day a week and spends the other four days as part of the mechanical and electrical team at The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
Keen to encourage other young women to follow in her footsteps, Gemma explains why she enjoys her job so much:
“Being an electrician for me was an excellent career choice; I am naturally very practical and no two days are the same. Being an electrician is very useful trade to have and there is a variety of work that I do daily which makes the job interesting. I am currently working in domestic properties on door entry systems as well as re-wiring vacant and occupied properties for the council.
“My mum was always encouraging me to get into construction from an early age, as I was always building and fixing things around the house. My dad is happy for me too, as he knows that this is a great opportunity for my future career prospects.
“I am very optimistic about the future, as long as I keep putting in the hard work. I am currently three years into a four year Apprenticeship with my final exam being late next year. I want to be really good at my job as an electrician and in the future, I hope to be a manager running my own business. I would like to say thank you to Barking & Dagenham College and my current employer London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for all their support throughout my Apprenticeship.”
Sarah Kennedy, Training, Wellbeing and Apprenticeships Manager at the council adds:
“Apprenticeships are great, as apprentices get a blend of classroom and on-the-job learning, plus they get to know the organisation inside and out and decide whether it really is the career for them. They also learn other important skills such as customer service skills that employers need. It’s a win-win situation for young people like Gemma and for organisations such as the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham."
The theme of National Apprenticeship Week 2018 is Apprenticeships Work to showcase how apprenticeships benefit individuals, employers, local communities and the wider economy.
If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice or taking on an apprentice call the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or go to GOV.UK and search ‘Apprenticeships’ or ‘traineeships’.
*Figure from leading industry regulator NICEIC.