South West housing association LiveWest is encouraging women to try their hand at plumbing, bricklaying and carpentry as part of a drive to increase the number of females within its trades’ workforce.
LiveWest is running a taster day on 8 September at South Devon College, Paignton, to help women decide if a career in a trade might be for them. The college’s tutors and LiveWest tradespeople will help the women try various activities such as soldering pipes and building a wall. The event will be open to women with a variety of experience and age levels including those who have no experience at all. The day will enable both LiveWest customers and members of the wider community to gain an insight into several trades and potentially kick-start a career in the housing sector. Attendees of the taster day will also be able to learn more about LiveWest’s apprenticeship programme, which prepares people to enter the skilled trade industry.
Liane Sheppard, director of property services for LiveWest, said: “Women are not well represented in skilled trades and we want to address that by giving them opportunities at LiveWest. We have some great female role models already working across our trades, but we want more. The taster day will be a relaxed, fun look at a number of trades and the chance to have a go to see if you like it. What we have found in the past is that if females are empowered to try out these trades, the results can be phenomenal.”
Following the taster day LiveWest will be recruiting several apprentices in a range of trades across the organisation.
Tracy Perkin is a gas engineer at LiveWest having completed a career change at the age of 40. She applied for an apprenticeship 18 months ago and has thrived ever since. Plymouth-based Tracy said: “I am in the second year of my apprenticeship and it is the best thing that could have happened to me. It has literally changed my life. And it is all thanks to LiveWest for believing in me and giving me the platform to show I can do this. Our customers are great, and I get lots of comments about how fantastic it is that a woman has come to look at their boiler. I hope it will make people think and consider a career path regardless of gender and age. LiveWest don’t hold any barriers and welcome people whatever their age or gender.”
Tracy encourages fellow females to have a go at the taster day to see if a trades career is the right path for them. If you are interested in attending the taster day, find out more here.
Image: LiveWest is committed to bringing tradeswomen to the workforce, courtesy LiveWest.