Meet Amy Pashley – electrician and footballer
PUBLISHED: 00:00 19 December 2017
Long Eaton United midfielder is a bright spark on and off the pitch
Amy Pashley from Codnor in Derbyshire is one of just a handful of female electricians working on installations in the UK and is the second female to pass her ‘Inspection & Testing’ qualification – 2395 – at Elm Street Training in Long Eaton in the organisation’s 12-year history.
Based at Portable Offices’ Derby depot, Amy works as an electrician for one of the UK’s leading providers of portable buildings – working alongside Contracting Electrical Supervisor, Dan Maddox, where the team works on installations the length and breadth of the UK.
But what makes a 27-year-old woman opt for a career in a male-dominated trade? For Amy it felt like the most natural thing in the world, as she is the third generation of her family to work in the trades sector. She said: ‘My granddad was a joiner and my dad was an electrician and right from the age when I could first hold a screwdriver, I would help my dad with jobs around the house, including building a porch at the age of six. I have always been a practical person and love the challenge of electrical work; it is a great trade for keeping you on your toes.’
But it wasn’t her first trade of choice. When Amy left school she went to college to learn landscape gardening but as it was a three day a week course she started helping out a local electrician on the other two days. She enjoyed it so much, she decided to give up landscape gardening and join him as an apprentice, returning to college to study as an installation electrician.
After a couple of jobs working for other companies, Amy joined Portable Offices’ Derby depot 18 months ago and started to work alongside Dan Maddox, the company’s electrical supervisor. He said: ‘Amy is a tremendous worker with a real ‘can do’ attitude. She sets a high standard for both the quality and quantity of work she achieves with the rest of our workforce and our vast array of contractors. Amy is really adaptable and has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few months. She is well organised and capable and fits in really well. She sometimes gets a few questionable looks from the other trades when she arrives on site, but she soon allays any concerns about her ability to “keep the pace”.’
In fact, just one per cent of the UK’s electricians are women although there is a growing interest from females in taking up work in the traditional trades. Amy enjoys the variety of work, visiting Portable Offices’ sites around the UK. She said: ‘It is great being part of the team and we can be working on the installation of school buildings in London one day and then on a retail unit the next or on a marketing suite for a housing developer in Leeds, there’s a lot of variety.
‘When you’re on a large contract, you’ve got plumbers, carpenters and other trades around you and you have to keep your side working and keep pace, there’s no time to mingle and scarcely time for a cup of tea.’
Passing the inspection and testing 2395 exam is a mark of significant achievement for anyone, it is a tough exam with a pass rate of just 19 per cent. Mike Roper, Elm Training Services Assessor and Examiner, commented: ‘We’ve been established some 12 years or so and I can only recall one other female passing the exam, so Amy is in the minority. It is an achievement for any electrician – male or female.’
Amy commented: ‘It was a real challenge – 10 days of hard work and revision. I was over the moon to pass all of my exams, now I will be able to sign off any electrical work. My family are all really proud.’
Away from work, Amy confesses that she has always had a passion for football. She plays for Long Eaton United Ladies Football Club as an attacking midfielder, although as she is quite versatile she does get to play in most positions. ‘My passion for football is just as great as it was when I started playing at the age of five. I’ve always loved football and I think I always will.’
Amy was presented with the Manager’s Player Award for the 2016/17 season and is overjoyed by her success. ‘The past season has seen us win some great matches and we have a fantastic team and are set to make some real achievements going forward.’