Laker employee Sophie Squirrell is beginning her Gas Operative ‘Managed Learning Programme’ later this month with Nescot Gas Academy, and we would all like to wish her the very best of luck.
We wanted to share Sophie’s story as although the number of women in the labour market has been rising steadily since the 1970s, less than 5% work in skilled trades, such as electrics, plumbing, plastering and gas. Depending on the trade, men will outnumber women in these areas by at least ten to one.
At the same time there’s a big demand for female traders. A 2018 survey by the Federation of Master Builders found more than a third of Londoners would prefer a female tradesperson. But at the same time, a third fewer Londoners would encourage their daughters to pursue a career in construction than their sons.
Sophie (already a qualified Plumber) joined Laker in June 2019 to continue her training with us and progress to becoming Gas qualified. Sophie currently works on our Runnymede Borough Council Contract. Sophie originally trained to become a Plumber when she became bored with her day to day office admin job. She said what she loves about her job now is that ‘every day is different; every house is different, and you never know what you will be walking into!’
Sophie would encourage other women to consider taking up a trade and said overall, although it is a male dominated environment, she has found the industry to be very welcoming.
Haile Reed, Community and Partnership Manager at Laker commented ‘There’s little doubt that more women will need to go into manual trades if the UK is to avoid skills shortages in the future, and we are hoping that with more women like Sophie, we can prove it is not just a man’s world – there’s room for women here, too!’
For more information about this story, or Laker in general please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be particularly keen to hear from organisations promoting women in trades.