Ella Lewis, Gas Engineer Apprentice has been working at Hyde for the past 11 months and is pursuing a Level 3 NVQ.
“My apprenticeship is going great. I’ve had some great mentors, they make me get in there and do the job – real hands-on learning. I ask a lot of questions and they’re so open to share their knowledge.
“I was doing admin work before but that wasn’t the best fit for me, as I’m energetic and like to keep active. I was doing a plumbing course before this and didn’t like it.”
Working in a male dominated environment has had its ups and downs for Ella.
“I’ve had some unpleasant experiences in the past, being a female working with mostly men. Working at Hyde has sort of come as surprise - it's a great place to work and has totally exceeded my expectations."
"No two days are the same, so it never gets boring. It’s also great to shadow experienced engineers and learn from them. When I need help with something, be it work or school related – I know who to go to – and no question is a stupid question. To say I enjoy my job is an understatement.
"It’s always funny when I show up at customers' homes and they’re surprised, they say ‘oh, you’re a girl.’ That’s sort of encouraging actually. When I fix an elderly lady’s issue and she has hot water again - that’s rewarding."
Without hesitation, Ella said she’d be delighted to join Hyde as a permanent employee once her apprenticeship ends, if given the opportunity.
Mark Beves, Gas Trade Supervisor, Ella’s line manager said: “Ella works extremely hard and is flying through the apprenticeship programme. She has skills and knowledge that can be transferred from traditional gas engineering to renewables.
"She is very ambitious – when it comes to her course work, if it’s not one hundred per cent, she’s not happy. Having her on the team has changed the dynamic.
“We need more apprentices like Ella. They’re the future,” Mark concluded.