Emily Ashton is trying to make a name for herself – and a living, as she embarks on a career in the plumbing trade.
The 24-year-old from Llanidloes, Powys, worked as a cleaner before downing tools and beginning her qualifications at Newtown College (part of NPTC Group of Colleges).
Emily has a positive attitude and this helped her to secure an apprenticeship with a local plumbing and heating company.
Emily is four months into her apprenticeship with James Spilsbury of Spilsbury Plumbing and Heating. She has covered all of the basics and is now looking forward to working on more complex processes.
James is putting Emily through her paces on their latest project, fitting pipework and soldering on new build houses in Mid Wales.
He said: ”Emily’s work is good. We have people from British Gas who come round and they comment on it and it’s always positive.”
Emily is enjoying her work so far, and whilst there may be barriers for women in the trade she is not letting anything get in her way as she forges a career for herself.
“I like doing something different and I like the idea that I’m part of a small group that might lead the way for women to get into this sort of industry,” she said.
The Newtown College student is pleased to have used the apprenticeship route into the industry, and recommends others to do the same.
When asked if she would recommend Newtown College’s apprenticeships to others, she said: “Yes, the more the merrier! It is an enormously male dominated sector but it’s certainly something that can be done by women. As for the College, they’re very good and supportive, especially the tutors, there’s always someone to help. I don’t know any other female plumbers. Hopefully, people who see me doing it will think: “Oh, I can do that and give it a go.”