Rachel is passionate about training and has a supporting career in engineering
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve interviewed trainer, Rachel King, who joined Logic4training last summer and has been teaching the weekend plumbing qualification at our Northolt centre.
Rachel is passionate about training and has a supporting career in engineering that brings a lot of experience and knowledge to her role.
Rachel began her career as an apprentice heating engineer in 2004/5, where she was one of only four women in a group of 22.
“You can’t be sensitive in this game!”
There was lots of banter back then and she and her fellow female learners had to grow thick skins to stop the sexist comments hitting home. “You can’t be sensitive in this game!” Rachel says, with a laugh.
On the completion of her apprenticeship, Rachel cut her teeth working for a couple of contractor firms which specialised in local authority work and then for British Gas where she worked on boiler break-downs and installations. It wasn’t long until Rachel decided she wanted to return to education, so she signed up to a degree course at London South Bank University.
Qualified as a Mechanical Engineering graduate
Four years later she qualified as a Mechanical Engineering graduate and found she was able to supplement her career working as a gas engineer, which she’d kept going all through her time at university, with some work as a trainer. Initially, she worked for a private training centre in Watford and then another at Highams Park in Waltham Forest, where she trained offenders on day-release from prison; helping them with their rehabilitation and preparing them for work once they were released.
Rachel believes the degree helped her make a big step up in her career:
“The degree was much more in-depth than the training I’d received when I was younger. More focus on the physics of engineering and the intricacies of planning and design. The fact that I’ve been a student has, I think, helped make me a better trainer.
More adaptable and flexible
“I know what it’s like to be an adult learner and can understand the problems people face when they come back to study. This perspective helps me to be more adaptable and flexible in developing learning styles appropriate to my learners, I make my lessons interactive and encourage my candidates to become self-reliant, supplementing what they learn with me with self-study.”
“I still get a bit of stick for being a woman, but actually, I find that many of the learners like my approach and feel I’m perhaps less judgmental than a male trainer might be. They find it easier to say if they don’t understand something and are happier to ask questions. There are benefits to being a female in this industry!”
Still a gas engineer during the week
Rachel still works as a gas engineer in the week and sees her role as a weekend-trainer as a big advantage:
“Being a trainer means I’m up to date with regulations and new technologies, which makes me a better engineer. And the fact I’m working every week dealing with the problems and issues that my weekend learners will face, makes me a better trainer – it cuts both ways.”
Rachel is happy with her role at the moment, but long-term would like to take a post-grad in training and move into renewables and new technologies.
Encouraged to develop my career
“Logic4training is a great company to work for. Trainers are encouraged to develop their careers, taking new courses to enhance self-development. At the moment I’m working towards an A1 Assessment award and further plumbing qualifications.
“Now my children have grown up and left home I’m free to focus on what I want from the future. I love this dual role I’ve made for myself, balancing a career in engineering with one as a trainer. I’ve even been training my son, who’s a plumber……but that’s another story!”