Burnley Cadent apprentice, 39, helps bust myth they are ‘for school leavers’
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Zuleira Bradshaw (39) joined Cadent’s 2022 cohort more than 20 years after leaving school.
Zuleira was looking for a more settled, hands-on, skilled career after spending most of her working life in factories, as well as time spent working overseas.
So, four years ago, Zuleira enrolled on a plumbing and heating course at Burnley College, a decision that later saw her placed with Cadent for work experience.
That work experience turned into an apprenticeship with Cadent – Zuleira is now working towards becoming one of the company’s ‘first call operatives’, one of the engineers who respond to gas emergencies.
She said: “I am a hands-on person and doing work like this really appeals to me – plus there’s the social side, you get to meet so many different people.
“I have a mentor, who I shadow on jobs, and we go to a brilliant training centre for our skills training, which involves a bit of all sorts. The support is phenomenal.
"I was nervous about joining at 39, and as a woman in a workforce that is mostly men, but it just hasn’t been an issue at all.
“I know Cadent is keen to recruit more women into roles like this and I wouldn’t hesitate in encouraging people to do that.
“From the day I walked in, I’ve been made to feel very welcome and part of the team.”
The company, which manages an underground network of more than 21,000 miles of gas pipes in its North West network, from the Lake District to Crewe, is launching
a recruitment drive on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week.
Last year’s cohort ranged in age from 16 to 45.
Jenny Moten, Cadent’s Network Director, North West, said: “We are very excited that this year we have opportunities for at least 55 apprentices. There will be no better time to join us – you’ll be helping keep people safe and warm in their homes, as well as being part of the North West and UK’s journey to a greener future, with hydrogen being introduced to local gas networks.”
More information on the Cadent roles available, and how to apply, is here https://cadentgas.com/careers/roles/apprentices