A retired teacher has learned a new trade at the age of 61.
Louise Lindsay, from Kettering, has secured on-the-job work experience with housing and community regeneration specialist Keepmoat to fulfil her dream of becoming a fully-fledged electrician.
Louise, a former dancer and teacher of the deaf across Leicester, Rutland and Northamptonshire, wanted a complete change of career after taking early retirement.
She ventured into the trades with evening classes in plumbing, bricklaying and building, but discovered her passion lies in electrics.
Louise is currently studying electrical installation at Tresham College in Wellingborough, working towards a Level 3 City & Guilds Certificate.
But a qualification is only part of the story, as Louise realised practical experience holds the key to her training and development.
She said: “I really wanted to gain work experience to develop my learning in a practical way, as I am qualifying without completing a formal apprenticeship, so I approached Keepmoat to see if they could help.
“Through the Kickstart programme, which was run by Keepmoat and Spire Homes, I’ve been lucky enough to gain site work experience and shadow local maintenance teams, to get a real feel for what is really involved.
“They’ve been really supportive throughout and willing to take a chance on me – my gender and age has not been a barrier at all.”
Louise will be working with Keepmoat until the summer at a range of sites across the region, and when her application for an electrical labourer card is approved, she will be able to join the Keepmoat teams on their sites and developments.
Keepmoat is working across Northamptonshire building homes and residential homes for the elderly, as well as maintaining local council and housing association properties.
Keepmoat regional managing director Martin Smithurst said: “As a company, we believe in investing in the communities where we work, and providing training opportunities is one way that we can leave a lasting legacy.
“A diverse workforce is a real asset to our business, as well as the wider industry, as older people often bring a different set of skills which have the potential to positively impact on the organisation.
“We’re so pleased that Louise approached us and that we’ve been able to support her.
“She is clear proof that you can retrain and learn a new trade whatever your age, and undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of her.”
Customer engagement officer at Spire Homes Sharon Boot said: “We’re really pleased that our community investment work with Keepmoat has helped Louise embark on a new career.
“Getting on-the-job experience alongside an electrical installation Level 3 City & Guilds Certificate is a really good way for Louise to make her CV stand out and build up her confidence even more by gaining hands on experience.”