Originally April steered her career in the direction of leisure and tourism. Still unsure of the direction she wanted to go in she tried her hand at various jobs including a receptionist. April’s life changed the day she spotted an advert for an apprentice electrician.
With a flair for all things practical, April jumped at the chance to achieve her career dream.
It was a move that has reaped dividends as she has risen through the ranks in housing to become a registered electrical NICEIC Qualified Supervisor.
April said: “I wasn’t passionate in any of my previous job roles, I did enjoy my employment and could see some lines of progression but I wanted an even more physical and challenging role and when I saw the advert for the electricians' apprenticeship come up, I jumped at the chance.”
After four years as an apprentice within the domestic housing industry in Manchester and working her way up from Qualified Electrician to a registered NICEIC Qualified Supervisor in 2010, April moved down to Newquay, Cornwall, with her three Daughters and Husband to be closer to her Mum and Brother.
She added: “I really love my chosen career in the electrical industry, you are always learning as you need to keep up to date with regulations. My apprenticeship covered different contracts, I was first placed on the fast-paced domestic kitchen and bathroom rip outs and rewires which was always interesting and fascinating to install. Towards the end of my apprenticeship when I had gained experience, I moved onto full installs to newbuild homes with little to no supervision.”
April joined LiveWest in January 2021 and has a team of nine electricians. Although April is relatively new she feels her experience working hands-on in the trade aids in the efficiency of managing her team and has formed a good working relationship with her team members. April praised her electrical management team who are a great support system and looks forward to what they can achieve together to improve services
April added: “There are many progression opportunities at LiveWest, I still have lots of work to do within my role but it’s great to know there are options should I choose a new challenge.”
April’s love of problem-solving comes from her own mother, who single-handedly did all of the DIY in her childhood home. And had the ‘’can-do’’ attitude, from putting up shelves and mirrors to painting the whole house, she inspired April to do things herself without asking for help.
April said: “In future, I would encourage my three daughters who are ten, seven and two that there is a career in the trades if this is a desire they choose to venture.
“I am always showing them how to do things for themselves to make sure they can rely on their own skills to get themselves out of a problem. My mum was my inspiration for my hands-on career and I hope I can be a good role model to my three daughters.”
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.
“We want to empower more women to pursue a trades career.
“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.
“LiveWest is committed to welcoming female colleagues to our trades and this could be the start of an exciting journey for those interested in launching or changing their careers.”
Following the taster day, LiveWest will be recruiting several apprentices in a range of trades across the organisation.