Electrical installation firm Butlers has recruited its first female ‘sparky’. Twenty-eight-year-old Leanne Artley has joined the Sleaford-based firm as an approved electrician having spent 11 years working in the profession.
Leanne, who is originally from Sleaford, was inspired to follow in her father’s footsteps and, aged 17, applied to do an apprenticeship at the company where he worked.
“I wasn’t enjoying studying for my A-levels and wanted to start earning some money,” explained Leanne. “With an apprenticeship, you can learn a new skill and get paid at the same time so I did a bit of research, found out what the job involved and applied.
“Even if I hadn’t got this job, I would still have pursed my dream to be an electrician. I knew it was what I wanted to do – it really appealed to me as I was interested in science at school and had a natural flair for physics.”
Leanne spent four years as an apprentice, after which she went on to gain further qualifications in PAT testing, inspection and testing as well as PLC programming.
Director at Butlers Matt Cook said he was pleased to welcome Leanne on board: “We don’t often receive applications from female electricians so we were delighted when Leanne got in touch.
“Since taking over the business from my father with my wife Kate in 2001, we’ve grown the business from three employees and two vans to 18 staff and 14 vans and moved to larger premises.
“We’re also doing more commercial and local authority work designing, installing and maintaining electrical systems in offices, schools, warehouses and factories. Leanne’s previous job working in a factory means she’s got a lot of relevant experience and she’s already proving to be a valuable member of the team.”
Speaking about her new job, Leanne said she’s enjoying the variety. “I’m doing domestic, commercial and industrial work so no two days are ever the same,” she explained. “The work is challenging which is good and the people at Butlers are all lovely so I’m really enjoying it.”
As for working in a male-dominated environment, Leanne said it’s something she’s got used to over the years.
“Although I admit I’d love to see more women entering the profession, I do enjoy working with men. Unfortunately, I don’t think girls at school are given the opportunity or encouraged to learn a construction trade which is a shame as it can be lucrative and often tradespeople are self-employed so they can be flexible about when and where they work.
“I’d certainly advise anyone looking for a rewarding and exciting career to consider learning a trade; who knows where it might take you?”
Notes to Editors