Apprentices pass exams to become qualified electricians
Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Health and also in Communities, Education, Housing
Lisa McKenna and Joe Clark
After four years of hard work two apprentices from Halton Housing Trust are celebrating after becoming fully qualified electricians.
Joe Clark, 22, and Lisa McKenna, 40, have also secured permanent jobs at the Trust, making it a double success for the hardworking duo.
A role model to women everywhere, Lisa was an unemployed single mother to three children until she decided to turn her life around and start an apprenticeship four years ago. Lisa’s story is even more inspiring because at 36 she was not only a mature apprentice, but she was also entering a male dominated profession. She now hopes her story will inspire other women to change their lives.
Lisa, who lives in Windmill Hill in Runcorn, said: “I used to be an office manager for ten years but I found myself unemployed for two years. I also got divorced, so I had to become the breadwinner and find a new career. I started doing DIY at home because I had to – before I started my electrical apprenticeship I could barely change a plug!”
“I realised that I was actually very good with anything electrical so I went for a taster day at Riverside College. I loved it and decided to look for an apprenticeship, finding one through Halton into Jobs. The Trust had a vacancy and I’ve been here ever since. Halton Housing Trust has been great; it’s like a little family here. Everyone has been so supportive. An apprenticeship is as good as the person doing it but if a company values you then it’s great.”
Lisa wants to inspire other women to change their lives for the better. She added: “My advice to other women who want to become an electrician is just do it! It takes hard work and patience but you will surprise yourself if you put your mind to it. I hope to encourage other women, whether they are unemployed or want a career change, to get out there.”
Joe Clark from Widnes, started his apprenticeship four years ago when he was 18. He said: “I left college because A-Levels weren’t for me. I wanted to learn on the job in a work environment.”
Joe studied at Warrington Collegiate College for one day a week and spent the rest of the week in the workplace: “Halton Housing Trust has been fantastic. They supported me throughout my studies, buying us our textbooks and tools. They gave us time to study, reviewed our work and helped us if we had any problems.
“I love being an electrician because the job is different every day. I get to meet a wide range of customers and it also keeps me fit!”
Nick Atkin, Chief Executive at the Trust said: “As a major employer within Halton, we regard apprentices as a long term investment and so we try to offer a range of experience as well as meaningful work for our apprentices. As well as bringing in fresh ideas and working practice, people like Lisa and Joe also are fantastic colleagues.”
“They are both shining examples of how apprenticeships can help people from all backgrounds to progress in their chosen career. I’m delighted the next stage of their career is going to be at the Trust and I hope their story inspires others to consider an apprenticeship with Halton Housing Trust.”
Halton Housing Trust employs apprentices in a number of different departments, ranging from Construction Services, through to Human Resources and IT. We also provide four week placements via the Career Academy, where young people experience work in a number of different areas.
The Trust has recently launched a new programme to help people find work, training or volunteer opportunities. If you would like to receive weekly updates, outlining all jobs, training and volunteer opportunities in your area, please call Debbie Jameson on 0151 510 5185 or Michelle Phillips on 0151 510 5184.