To mark International Women's Day 2023, we’re profiling 2 female apprentices to learn about why they joined our Repairs team and how a trades role has so much to offer them. I recently visited Molly McLaughlin-Gray who was working at an apartment block in Portsmouth and Callie Kingsbury at a home in Aldershot. Here’s what they had to say.
I’m currently completing a NVQ level 2 in carpentry at Highbury College in Portsmouth and whilst studying, I work in the Fire Risk Assessment team here at VIVID, which is an amazing team.
A career in carpentry can be really creative as you learn how to construct so many different things. At college I’m learning all sorts of new technical skills such as how to make stairs, construct stud walls and truss roofs.
Growing up, I’ve always been into construction. I’ve never been that sort of person to sit in an office and work on computers. I always like to be out and about.
The difference between men and women in this role makes no difference to me. We’re all equal which is how it should be. I’d definitely encourage others to pursue a trades role. There’s so much to learn and no day is ever the same.
Before starting my apprenticeship here, I’d worked in childcare for 10 years and wanted a change of career path. I listed out the types of jobs I might like, plumbing being one, and then started my job search. This is when I saw the role at VIVID being advertised.
I’m now in the 3rd of a 4 year apprenticeship at Eastleigh College studying for a level 3 diploma in plumbing and domestic heating, and work in the Kitchen and Bathroom team here at VIVID. Today I’m working with James and Dave taking out an old bathroom ready to fit a new one before the customer moves in.
I really enjoy what I do and there are a few things which could improve. For example, our uniform suppliers don’t provide boots in a shoe size small enough (they start at size 7!) and workwear isn’t a good fit for a variety of shapes and sizes. Simple things like this would make a difference when it comes to being inclusive.
I’d love to see more females in trades. I’d encourage us continuing to go into schools and colleges in our uniforms talking about what we do. This is something I never had the experience of hearing when I was growing up. In terms of the future, I’m really looking forward to qualifying and having more responsibility.
The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about “Why equal opportunities aren't enough”. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. Read more about this here. #IWD2023