Spotlight: Apprentice Joiner Amy Fielding.
Read on to find out about Amy's story and why being the only female in her team never even crosses her mind.
A female apprentice joiner at Oldham-based housing association, First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) is helping to break the bias in a traditionally male-dominated profession and show the value that women can bring to these roles - whether she realises it or not.
Amy Fielding, 19 from Oldham, joined FCHO in September 2020 as a site carpentry apprentice and became FCHO’s first female in the trade.
Amy says: “I really enjoyed studying wood tech at school and I like hands-on learning, so this was the best route for me. I’m getting a lot out of the apprenticeship that I can take forward.”
Asked what it’s like to be the only female in her team, she says it doesn’t occur to her:
“I don’t even think about the fact I’m doing it. I love the job – getting my hands dirty and doing practical jobs. I’m learning all the time.
“I don’t even think about the fact I’m doing it. I love the job – getting my hands dirty and doing practical jobs. I’m learning all the time".
Amy is working towards her Level 2 Site Carpentry qualification, spending one day a week studying at Oldham College and the rest of the time working alongside FCHO’s Property Care team carrying out repairs on customers’ homes – including everything from fitting new doors to fixing windows.
She has gained experience on one of FCHO’s new build developments, too, where she turned her hand to stud walls, door frames and manufactured joists.
“It was great to spend time on a construction site - seeing what goes into house building and gaining essential knowledge of the construction industry,” Amy explains.
FCHO is committed to being an inclusive employer, encouraging diversity and positively influencing gender gaps. These principles apply to its ongoing apprenticeships programme, set up to create a future talent pipeline for the business and local area.
Karen Jenkins, FCHO Talent and Development Lead says: “Even today there are gender stereotypes associated with different roles, and Amy is a great example to show that you can achieve what you want to. She is helping to shape our approach and I look forward to the results we can achieve.”
Women's Trade Network partner, First Choice Homes Oldham, is at the vanguard of promoting gender diversity and inclusion in the trade sector. If you'd like to start your journey into a trade career, contact firstname.lastname@example.org