Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Bright spark on a damp day

Now that the summer holidays are here, the builders are at work in the small primary school in the village. They are knocking down walls to ‘create an appropriate learning environment’ for the 70 children attending the little Cotswold stone school built in 1878 by the Baptist Church.

In the second week of works, the three white vans parked on the verge opposite the school are joined by a fourth, the electrical contractor. Passing by on my return from the Village Shop and Post Office (thankfully spared closure) I notice that the slim figure with a mane of curly auburn hair, busy selecting mounting boxes and switches boxes in the back of the van, is a young woman.

Long mystified by why there are so few women electricians, compared with the other building trades, I stopped to chat. She is apprenticed to a local firm, training at the local college and loves the work. She knows three others in the area, all equally happy. Does she think that it is the maths that might put girls and women off?

"No," she says, "understanding the basics is quite simple." She’s really looking forward to qualifying in a year’s time - there's much more interesting stuff to do than just installing sockets.

Just the sort of person to shed some new light on the world of work, by talking to the children about what she did in the summer holidays.

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