Zoe's Story - Apprentice - Smart Meter Engineer, E.ON UK
When Zoe Finch decided to change career, she was determined to succeed as an engineer. Through her apprenticeship, she became the first female to qualify as a Smart Metering Engineer at E.ON UK.
What do you do?
“I am now a smart meter engineer with E.ON after an apprenticeship in engineering – I was the first female to do it in England too! I applied for a few apprenticeships before I got his one, which involved me installing gas and electric meters for a year, shadowing experienced installers and engaging with customers.”
What did you do before?
“I used to own and run a catering van selling burgers and sandwiches and other food. I wanted to develop my business but I needed to spend £6,000. That’s a lot of money and with no guarantee of being any better off or having a stable job afterwards.”
“No woman should be put off because an apprenticeship with an energy or
utilities company because it could lead to a new career with great prospects.”
Why did you choose an engineering apprenticeship?
“Some of my customers said they would prefer to have a woman come to their house to do repairs and installations. This is what made me think a lot of people would welcome to having a female engineer. Also, I thought an apprenticeship scheme would be the best way to start a career in something I knew I’d enjoy.”
But you’re a woman …
“To be honest, I wasn’t put off because there aren’t as many females in jobs like mine, but I think there should be. No woman should be put off because an apprenticeship with an energy or utilities company because it could lead to a new career with great prospects.”
Aren’t apprenticeships only for school leavers?
“No. I thought I was a bit too old when I started mine at 26. I work with an apprentice now who’s 54!”