Kirsty Williams, aged 25 from Blackwood, is a qualified Technical Engineer for British Gas.
After taking her GCSE’s at Oakdale Comprehensive School, she was initially unsure about what to do next. Then her father, also a British Gas engineer, suggested she looked into opportunities for apprenticeships with the company.
Kirsty applied to the apprenticeship scheme at the company’s Thatcham Academy in Berkshire, and graduated in November 2012. Having come through 18 months with flying colours she was awarded British Gas Apprentice of the Year 2013, recognising her commitment and hard work.
She said: “Every day at the Academy was different as we’d split our time between the classroom and putting our skills to the test doing practical work. It’s now nice to be working completely independently in customers’ homes. I really enjoyed every minute of the apprenticeship, and although it was hard work, it was also a lot of fun and very rewarding.”
Kirsty now covers an area from Abercarn to Tredegar and intends to continue to develop her skills. She said:
“Some of the work I’m now doing is really exciting because I get to work with smart technologies that help improve everyday life for our customers. I install Hive Active Heating™, which customers love because it enables you to switch on heating or hot water remotely.
“I also install Boiler IQ as well, which is great because it means we can fix boilers more quickly. When you’re an engineer it’s so rewarding to leave customers with a safe and warm home.
She also wants to encourage other women like her to consider careers in STEM.
“I’m one of the only female engineers in the area, so some of the female customers really like it when I knock on the door. It’s often a surprise when they see me, but really there is absolutely no reason why a woman or any young person can’t do this job just as well as anyone else.
“I want to show young girls like me that just because you like girly things, you can still work in a role like mine,” she said.