'First woman' to complete street light apprenticeship
A woman who got a job fixing street lights after being rejected as a mechanic and plumber wants to inspire others to take up male-dominated roles.
Lyn Owers, 27, will be the first woman in the UK to complete a Level 2 highways electrical apprenticeship, according to Electrical Testing Ltd.
She applied after struggling to work in an office following jobs in the motor and plumbing trades.
"I hope other females see me and think 'if she can do it so can I'," she said.
When repairing or replacing street lights, Miss Owers, from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, can be perched up to 15m (49ft) above some of the country's busiest roads.
"One of the best bits is being up in the cherry-picker - at night you can see for miles and it's so peaceful," she said.
"It's not a sight you'd ever see outside of this job."
She started her two-year apprenticeship in 2018 with the Kier Group, which undertakes Highways Agency contracts, and is based at Toddington Services on the M1 in Bedfordshire.
Every few weeks she has travelled 120 miles (193km) to training provider Electrical Testing Ltd in Acle, Norfolk.
Carl Green, head of learning and development, said Miss Owers had been "excellent across the board".
He added she would be the "first female in the UK" to complete the Level 2 apprenticeship in highway electrical work and systems.
Miss Owers said she had not met any women "on the ground" or on her course, but worked with a team of four men who had been "brilliant".
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She quit a previous job as a motor mechanic after a manager repeatedly told her he "didn't want females in his workshop".
She later worked as a plumber, but found it difficult to get back into the trade after taking time off.
"I hope other women, who want to be in a trade, think they can do it too.
"There are always those who say 'you can't do that job' ... but I just reply, 'I can and I am'."
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