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!”