Women involved in ECA trial start on-site training on International Women’s Day

A dozen women training to become electricians as part of a trial scheme to encourage women into the trade will start their on-site training today, on International Women’s Day.

The Electrical Contractors’ Association – which is running the trial – called on other organisations to follow its lead and encourage women in sectors of the economy where they are also under-represented.

Currently less than one in 700 electricians are women.

The ‘Wired for Success’ campaign – backed by housing association L&Q and contractors Axis, Mullalley and Smith & Byford – provides women with a tailored two-year training course.

The initiative is targeted at disadvantaged women and will initially train up 12 long-term unemployed L&Q residents.

The women have recently achieved their Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) Cards and are now able to put their theoretical knowledge into practice in occupied properties across London. 

Wired for Success trainee, 43-year old Vicki Van Eck, said: “I’m so excited to get started. I’m a very hands-on person, so it’ll be great to see how all the things we have learned in the classroom are applied in a real-life situation.”

Wired for Success was conceived by former ECA president and ECA skills ambassador, Diane Johnson. Johnson said: “In an industry which is facing a future skills shortage, it seems ludicrous to me that less than one per cent of fully qualified electricians are female.

“By providing a flexible but rigorous learning route, this initiative will give women the opportunity to become equipped with the skills they need for a career.”