Construction – Emma

25 May 2022

Being a representation of female success in a historically mainly-male sector, Fortem Apprentice Emma Canvin was nominated for the Outstanding Apprentice award in Construction. Emma won the prestigious award in recognition of her continued high level of effort and care in her role.

Emma said: “I’m right chuffed; I wasn’t expecting to receive this award. I haven’t been here as long as some others so thought that someone else would have won. I can’t win to ring my husband and tell him! I’m going to put the award on my shelf.

“There isn’t an average day. The role involves travelling around a lot and making sure that everyone’s safe with their gas servicing. I make sure the boilers are safe and running as they should be at people’s property. There is quite a lot to remember but you get yourself into a routine.

“Everybody here is so supportive. It’s been my first week on my own this week and my team have been asking if I need anything, no matter how silly it sounds, then I can have support. The week has gone better as it’s gone along; I already feel like I’ve been here ages.”

Emma is also an example of how apprenticeships can benefit mature learners.

Emma said: “I thought that, because of my age, I wasn’t going to get into this apprenticeship.”

With Emma’s contributions being recognised on International Women’s Day, she gave advice to all women considering a role in the Construction sector.

Emma added: “Being a woman you need to fight – it’ so much harder than it is for a man. Some people just won’t entertain you, so if you want it you have to really go for it. It’s been hard, but now I’m in a job I love – I even have my own van!

“I knew nothing about plumbing or gas before I started. I think, because I’d done 16 years in Care, I’d hit a wall and thought a change in career would be right for me. I was in my mid-thirties and chose to go into something I’ve wanted to for a while.

“If I can say anything to anyone that’s female that wants to do it then go for it and keep going because it can be challenging. It can be daunting because it is primarily a man’s world, but we are slowly taking over!”

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