Clarice Payne has recently started her apprenticeship with British Gas. She shares why she wants to represent women and play her part in showing people that anyone can work in engineering. Read on to find out more about Clarice’s background and what she does now…
What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Before starting my role with British Gas, I worked for the NHS as a technician. As this role developed it became very desk based and I was looking for something more practical, so that pushed me towards applying for an apprenticeship. I felt inspired to apply after reading a British Gas employee’s blog on Centrica’s website. This took me to an advert recruiting for female engineers and I loved the way it was aimed at women and it encouraged me to apply even more. I was nervous doing so and never expected to get asked for an interview, but I’m glad I did as I got the job!
How have you found your apprenticeship so far?
As I am still new to my apprenticeship, I’m constantly learning and working with a mentor. My mentor is there for me every step of the way and they help me put my learnings into practice. I’m also seeing first-hand how the job is done, gaining experience all the time. Whether it's exchanging an electricity meter or installing a new smart meter, I feel supported throughout the process. The learning style of the course suits me but the thing I love most about my role is the practical side of the work and that no day is ever the same. I find it interesting to work with different customers, in a variety of locations.
What has been the most challenging part so far?
I think one of the biggest challenges in this job is changing the mindset of some people who believe women should not be engineers and the prejudice that can come with that. My perception of this career is that it’s always been a male-dominated job role. I want to represent women and play my part in showing people that anyone can work in engineering.
What would be your top piece of advice?
If I could give any advice to anyone who is thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, I’d say just go for it! The job has variety, it’s different every day and I’ve heard a lot about being able to grow and progress your career - and this motivates me to do my best and to reach as high as I can. I’m excited to be part of our engineering workforce of the future and looking forward to what comes next.