When she was considering which line of work to go into, Stephanie Ward did not have to look too far for advice and turned to her father-in-law who is a self-employed electrician. She started out by joining his business and worked for him on a casual basis for a couple of days a week.
She joined Leicester College at the Future Faradays event where she talked about aspects of her current role and the time she spent at Leicester College pursuing the Construction T Level: Electrical Installation (Building Services Engineering Electrotechnical Engineering Specialism) course.
She said: “I did my level T3 and went on to complete three short courses, including my regulations. The team here is brilliant. I had a variety of tutors, who were all really informative and a fantastic faculty.”
This T Level is a two-year course which has been developed in collaboration with building services engineering experts. The content is tailored to meet the needs of the industry and is designed to prepare students as they enter the workforce. Students will develop a detailed understanding of how the construction industry works, the principles of design, and the role of technology and sustainability.
This ability to obtain a broad range of skills has seen Stephanie in good stead. At present, she works as an electrician with PA Housing, a social housing company based in Leicester, and is among the few female electricians in the industry.
“I took a Diploma and Level 2/3 courses at Leicester College before taking a break, working with my self-employed father-in-law then finally, joining PA Housing as a social housing electrician. Here, I work on the electrics in tenanted and vacant properties, bringing them up to specification.”
She described what she enjoys most about her job and said: “I think it’s the variety of work – I enjoy most aspects of my job, whether it’s fault finding and solution work, or getting your hands dirty, anything like that, I’m pretty easy-going, really.”
According to Stephanie, when it comes to pursuing the same course, perseverance is key. This is the piece of advice she offered to others who are considering taking up this course of study. “If you were to do it at night school like I did, just get through it. It is hard work with long days and busy weeks. You are going to have some ‘down’ times but wipe away the tears and carry on.”
“The world of work was daunting, initially, but I progressed quickly and was in charge of my own team within two months. I still remember my time and learnings from Leicester College, which gave me the soft and technical skills that I needed to work as an electrician.
“I would recommend the College as a starter on the pathway to employment. They gave me the support, time and attention that I needed to get where I am today.”