Misconceptions about gender-specific roles are gradually diminishing, with a growing number of women choosing a career in construction. Colleen Rafferty, a former student of SRC, is leading the way and inspiring young girls to follow in her path in the plumbing and heating industry.
Colleen said, “I studied all the usual subjects at school. I worked in the evenings, weekends and summer holidays with my brother Blaine for his company BR Plumbing and Heating. I really enjoyed working alongside him and decided that I wanted to work in the plumbing sector when I left school.
“I enrolled in Southern Regional College Greenbank Campus, Newry and started my Plumbing & Heating Apprenticeship in September 2017. I continued to work with Blaine throughout my training.” Colleen continued, “Plumbing, as well as other trades within the construction industry, is mostly male dominated; I think some women could find this a challenge. I want women to embrace the challenges as I have really enjoyed all aspects of plumbing.”
Fiona Bradley, Assistant Director of Further Education and Training in the College commented, “Women only make up around 14% of construction industry professionals and this number can only be set to rise with more and more women choosing construction jobs. We are delighted to be leading the way at SRC and Colleen will be an inspiration to many young women who would not have considered this as a career option in the past.”
Colleen concluded by saying, “Once you have finished your plumbing qualification and spent a few years working with experienced professionals then you’ll have the expertise required to start your own business; you could even continue your education with a business and management qualification. Personally, plumbing has created a lot of opportunities for me and I am absolutely delighted to have been recently appointed as a new full-time plumbing lecturer within SRC plumbing department.”
For further information on courses available at SRC, visit: www.src.ac.uk