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  • Changing Careers, from Teacher to Tradie – Ruth’s Story

  • Moving into Management at HMS

Posted: 22 February 2023

Graduating with a BSc and working in the field of education for 15 years, Ruth’s career in education led to her teaching in her hometown of Liverpool, and as far away as Shanghai, China and Chicago.

Ruth never had any opportunities in school to even consider a career as a tradesperson. However, that all changed in 2017, when her partner started taking her on rewire jobs. What began as handing tools to him and his team, progressed into an understanding of both the materials and tools used, as well as the basic principles of an electrical rewire. Before long, Ruth was under floorboards and in lofts getting hands on which really sparked a passion in her for pursuing a new career.

“By working with my partner, I learnt so much, and I fell in love with the idea of working in a trade, so in March 2020 – just before the first COVID-19 Lockdown – I decided a career change was needed so I started a Plastering Course. Obviously, the timing wasn’t ideal, but British Gypsum sponsored the six-week course, and I got stuck right in!

“The course itself was difficult for me as I wasn’t as advanced as the other people on the course, but I was committed to passing, so I worked an extra 4 hours a day to improve my skills and make sure I was getting the hang of everything.”

Ruth’s dedication and enthusiasm saw her win the Most Improved Award at the end of her course, boosting her confidence to go onto apply to complete a Level 2 NVQ in Plastering at the North West Skills Academy.

Ruth continued: “After completing my NVQ Level 2, I needed a placement and reached out to a number of organisations – even contacting CEO’s directly and offering to work for free – until I got a full-time placement. Thankfully, that worked, and I went onto complete an 8-week placement at Magenta and became fully qualified. After passing my Level 2, I was taken on by Magenta, but unfortunately with roadworks on Liverpool side, it was a logistical nightmare. It became impossible to get to work without spending nearly 2 hours in traffic – each way!

“Logistically, working at Magenta didn’t work which I was sad about, but I had to be realistic, so I had to look for something closer to home – which is where HMS came in!”

Starting as a Plasterer at HMS in May 2021, Ruth was continuing her academic journey to achieve Level 3 Plastering qualification. In July 2022, Ruth passed her Level 3 NVQ in Plastering and got her Gold CSCS Card. “I feel like I’ve already achieved so much at HMS and thanks to the support of my fantastic manager and team, I’m now looking to move around within the company, to develop an understanding and knowledge of different trades and I’m looking forward to expanding my skill set even more this year.

“I am really happy and content at HMS and looking forward to growing my career even more. As a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry, I am passionate about showing other woman and girls' what opportunities are available to them so I’m looking forward to working with my first Apprentice and showing them what the sector, and HMS, can help them achieve."


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