Derby's Construction Industry Gets a Lift from Girl Power

Maddie Kirkman on site with G F Tomlinson. Maddie Kirkman on site with G F Tomlinson.

Maddie Kirkman is doing on-the-job training at GF Tomlinson of Little Eaton, as well as completing a two-year Level 3 Advanced BTEC Diploma in Professional Construction at Derby College. Maddie is helping to fly the flag for women in the construction industry.

The 17-year-old, from Ambergate, now has her sights set on a long career in construction, declaring that the industry is no longer just the domain of men. She said: "We need more women in construction. Women naturally have an eye for detail and follow things through right to the end. We need to promote apprenticeships and tell women that they can be in the industry as well as men - we need to show men what we're made of. It's all about girl-power!"

As well as attending local meetings of the National Association of Women in Construction, Maddie has enjoyed working with other women who are making a name for themselves in the field – including mentor Debbie Cooke, design manager at GF Tomlinson. Maddie said: "She is my role model and one of the reasons I decided on an apprenticeship with GF Tomlinson. She guides me and helps me through anything I'm unsure of. She's always friendly and approachable, with a brilliant can-do work ethic."

Construction is in the blood for Maddie, whose parents were keen home renovators and often asked her to help with everything from pulling cables to mixing cement. She would also help out at her dad's mechanical and electrical business, dealing with invoices and customer inquiries and heading out on site for building projects. She said: "I really enjoy following a job through and watching it grow from the planning stage into an actual building."

Since joining GF Tomlinson, Maddie has had the chance to work in several different departments as part of the company's training plan. She is already planning to do a Foundation Degree at Derby College after finishing her BTEC Diploma and hopes to later move on to a full degree in quantity surveying. She said: "To anyone who is offered an apprenticeship like mine, I would say grab it, get stuck in, show the company that you're willing to work hard and do what they have asked and more. An apprenticeship is a great experience and a great way to learn and earn at the same time. While you are doing a day release at college, you are also learning in a work-based environment from people who are actually doing the job that you are studying at college. The added bonus is a salary."

Please click for further information about Derby College's Professional Construction Study Programmes, or call 0800 028 0289. 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 13:00

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