Female students studying on construction courses at East Durham College's The Technical Academy

Magnificent Seven Eye A Career In Construction

Tue, 2002-06-25 01:00

East Durham College is delighted that it has recruited an unprecedented number of female students to study at its Technical Academy, a centre of excellence in construction-related training.

In the three years since the Peterlee-based Academy was opened, it had only seen two female students enrol - this academic year there are seven.

The ‘magnificent seven’ have enrolled on a range of courses typically dominated by male students both at the College and across the country.

Kirsty Gressman, 16, from Fishburn, is on the Level 1 Multicraft Construction Skills, Paris Hope, 16, from Easington Lane, is on the Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation, Carly Collins, 16, from Fishburn, is on the Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing, Pam Moore, 47, from Peterlee, and  Charlotte Murrish, 24, from Trimdon, are both on the Level 2 Diploma in Gas, Suzanne Potts, 23, from Hartlepool, is on the Level 2 Diploma in Wall and Floor Tiling and last but not least Dale Walton, 27, from Hart, is studying on the Level 2 Diploma in Fitted Interiors.

The Technical Academy staff are delighted that the girls have realised the opportunities these construction-related qualification and skills can offer them in a future career; as well as the girls helping set an example to other would-be female students who may been put off from studying on these type of courses as they believe them to be ‘for the boys’.

Rob Hutchinson, the Centre Manager, said: “We are delighted that so many female students have decided to enrol at the Academy and to pursue a career in construction.

“We have over 150 students so we are thrilled that women are now represented in nearly all the trade areas we cover.

“Both the College, and indeed the industry, are desperate to encourage more females to consider construction and engineering as a career option.

“They have fitted in really well and are giving the lads a real run for their money. In fact, many of them are outperforming a large number of their male counterparts and are showing a real aptitude for both the theoretical and practical work.”

Electrical student Paris Hope, who joined the Academy in September from Hetton School, is enjoying the course and can’t believe how much she has learnt in such a short space of time.

Paris said: “I absolutely love it here and on the course.

“You get thrown straight into the work and I can’t believe how much I have learnt since I started. We all feel completely equal to the boys and all get along really well, we’ve just blended in.

“I chose to come to The Technical Academy as I think there are some good stable job opportunities and I want to eventually become a site electrician or maybe work as an electrician in the forces.”

The Technical Academy is located in a 37,000 square feet purpose-built facility on Peterlee’s South West industrial estate. A wide range of construction courses are on offer including plastering, tiling, gas, plumbing, electric and fitted interiors.

For more details on The Technical Academy please visit the website at www.thetechnicalacademy.co.uk or call 0191 518 5577.