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Mr Electric Tamworth celebrates girl power with first female apprentice

A Tamworth business has taken on its first ever female apprentice as it aims to help break down long-held stereotypes and fill a future skills gap.

Mr Electric Tamworth has welcomed 17-year-old Katie Harvey to the team and she is already out on the road shadowing electricians and completing basic practical tasks.

Although the Lichfield Road Industrial Estate business takes on new apprentices every year, Katie is the first female to be welcomed to the team in the electrician role.

Jeff Longley, owner of the Tamworth franchise, said: “It is very unusual for women to become electricians and I have only met one other, but that’s not to say it should be that way. There is no reason at all why women shouldn’t do the job. Katie approached us and we were only too happy to give her that opportunity.

“There is a shortage of electricians, and of skilled people in general, and I see it as our duty to help train the next generation of electricians, whether male or female. If we can give someone a chance, we will. Having a trade will open many doors and tradespeople are going to become more and more valuable in the coming years.

“Katie has already hit the ground running and we look forward to helping her start out in what I hope will be a very long and successful career.”

Katie is embarking on a four-year EAL Level 3 Electrotechnical qualification which she will complete both in the workplace at Mr Electric and on site at South Staffordshire College’s Tamworth Campus.

Katie, from Warton, said: “I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do when I completed my GCSEs so I decided to go into the Sixth Form. After the first year however, I realised it wasn’t for me and I decided an apprenticeship might be a better route.

“I have always understood physics and becoming an electrician seemed more of a suitable direction for me. I only started a couple of weeks ago but I can already see myself doing this as a career long term.

“I know there will always be a need for electricians. I’ve been shadowing some of the electricians out on jobs and have already had lots of people saying how great it would be to have a female electrician. I’ve had a go at a few things like fitting sockets and putting a security light up and I’m really excited about it all.”

John Renshaw, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at South Staffordshire College, said: “The course will be delivered at our Tamworth campus. With a wide range of equipment and facilities available to them, our apprentices develop a great mix of both theory and practical skills, gaining a fantastic work based qualification at the end.

“It will be excellent to have Katie on a course that has previously been dominated by male students.”

1 Comment

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