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Sasha Wallbank – Progress Housing

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Name, Age and Job Role
Sasha Wallbank, 23, Apprentice Electrician

Which type of Apprenticeship are you doing or have you completed?
(Higher) – Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electro technical Systems & Equipment.

Who do you work for and what do they do?
Progress Housing Group. They are a social housing association based in Lancashire.

They provide all aspects of property maintenance. I work alongside qualified electricians of which I am the only female.

Why did you choose to become an apprentice?
I increasingly became interested in electronics when I was buying and selling kitchen appliances. I wanted to further my knowledge but still have an income. This could not have been better for me.

What does your day in your work life involve?
No two days are the same, I love it!
I work with a qualified electrician every day. We get our jobs through one at a time. In the morning I can be installing a shower, in the afternoon we can be doing a full inspection and test on a domestic property. The electrics are different in each house, so I’m always coming across new challenges and putting my problem solving skills to the test.

What do you enjoy and what is the best thing about being an apprentice?
I love learning, I’m coming across new things every day, meeting new people every day, opening opportunities for my future and becoming closer to qualified in the meantime.

What are your career plans and what would you like to be doing in 5 years’ time?
After I qualify I would like to stay with Progress Housing Group to gain more experience. I would eventually like to start my own electrician business. I’d like to both do contract work and property renovation. I would hope that I will have achieved this in 5 years’ time. There are many ideas beyond that, for example starting up and being part of a full team of female traders.

What is your greatest achievement?
While I know that this answer doesn’t have to be related to apprenticeships, I do feel that becoming the first female electrician apprentice to be taken on by Progress Housing is my greatest achievement!! It’s something I’m very passionate about and I’ve always enjoyed taking electric components apart to see how they work. This achievement means that I have a career in doing something that I love.

Give us one fun fact about yourself!
I used to run my own business buying and selling kitchen appliances. I did this on my own using my little Vauxhall Corsa to move around ovens, freezers and anything else I could sell. Within 6 months I became so busy that I bought myself a van, rented a couple of storage units and had a couple of people working for me.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about becoming an apprentice?
Do it. If you start an apprenticeship now, it means that you can start getting hands on experience and begin your career. Employers these days are looking for work experience, not degrees.

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