Plumbing apprenticeships #notjustforboys

Published:  18 March, 2015

Employment Minster Esther McVey visited Pimlico Plumbers last week to meet rising female plumbing stars, as part of her #notjustforboys campaign.

Ms McVey was very keen to find out more about what attracted the female members of the team into a profession that has been the preserve of men for centuries.

“The hashtag #notjustforboys campaign came about after we analysed what jobs would be like over the next decade,” Ms McVey explained. “There are going to be 12 million new jobs and a lot of those are going to be in IT, science, engineering and manufacturing - and when we look at the number of girls going into these careers, it’s significantly smaller than the number of boys. So what we’re trying to say is that these careers are not just for boys. ”

Antonia Lane, 21 who joined Pimlico Plumbers eight months ago, after walking away from a career in retail said: "The thing with plumbing is that once you have the skill you're employable for life. Whatever happens there is always a need for a good plumber. There's the job variety, since I started my apprenticeship I've been doing something different every single day. There's a huge amount of job satisfaction in the work because people are usually incredibly happy when you've turned up and saved them from a flood, or got the heating back on when it's freezing outside.

The #notjustforboys campaign strives to assist young women to get into professions like engineering, traditional trades, and the media, which have traditionally been the territory of their male counterparts.   

Antonia added: "There's no way I'd ever go back to working in a shop. For those who say I should have gone to university, well, this is just as good, and I won't end up with £50k worth of debts when I've finished my training but I will have a job for life!"