Scottish Daily Mail
Take the plunge for a plumb job
CHLOE SAyER hopes to help break down barriers as a young, female plumber.
The 19-year-old, from Reading, joined Pimlico Plumbers as an apprentice and is based at the company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Central London. Chloe, who attended Reading College, says: ‘At school there was very much an attitude that manual trades were for boys, and professions like nursing were aimed at girls.
‘I was lucky that I had a few personal connections who could point me in the right direction of how to go about entering the industry, as the advice I received in school wasn’t all that helpful.
‘A couple of my friends are plumbers, and my boyfriend works in the water treatment industry, so they offered me a few pointers. I then applied to Pimlico Plumbers and was lucky enough to secure an apprenticeship with them.’
Chloe says the best part of the job is knowing you’ve helped someone ‘especially when they really appreciate it’.
‘To know they’ve had a real problem you’ve been able to fix is so rewarding,’ she said.
‘I love being a plumber, and I’m proud I had the confidence to just go for it, as I knew it was what I wanted to do.
‘I have had some negative comments though — my Pimlico Plumbers uniform is pretty recognisable, and an engineer from another firm once actually came up to me in the supermarket and told me that I’d never earn as much as him because I was a girl and that I was a rubbish plumber.’
However, most people are ‘really receptive’ to a female plumber arriving on their doorstep. ‘Sometimes, because I’m quite young and a girl, customers are a bit taken aback when I show up on the doorstep,’ she admits.
‘People have a very particular image of how a plumber typically looks, and I’m probably the opposite of the heavyset, middle-aged man they are expecting.
‘However, when I get to work and they can see I know what I’m talking about, people tend to be really positive and ask me loads of questions about my job.’
She adds: ‘The reaction I’ve had from family, friends and, most importantly, customers has been incredibly positive, and I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve bucked the trend and secured a great job and great career.
‘I’d say to any woman looking to get into a trade — do what you want to do and don’t listen to any negativity.
‘The majority of people I meet are so positive about what I do that you don’t need to listen to negative comments — if a career as a plumber appeals to you, go for it.’