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Women with a VAN!!!

posted on 1 September 2010 | posted in News

Female White Van Drivers in Demand

Training in a trade could turn your life around – it’s time to take control of your career and get behind the wheel (of a little white van!)

The story of Gill Roberts is one that all people struggling in a difficult job market can take heart from. She has proven that no matter what your age, gender or background, it’s possible to retrain and make a new start. We’re forever been told of the skill shortage in practical trades across the UK, from joiners to plumbers. And Gill told the press how she decided to take an entrepreneurial approach when she faced redundancy and retrain in a trade.

Woman with a Van

Facing redundancy is an increasingly common scenario for many across the UK, and there are few people lucky enough in today’s job culture to avoid experiencing redundancy. It can be devastating for those who have built a long career based on past skills and education. But Gill seized the moment and opted to do something new, if unexpected; she switched her 15 year career of teaching IT to train as a plumber. She told the Mirror newspaper: “It was difficult when I heard my job was being axed – with the credit crunch nobody wants to lose their job. I had a slight wobble. After all, I’d been teaching IT in colleges for 15 years and loved my work with vocational students. It had been a very rewarding career.”

Handy Mandies

It’s easy to feel as if you’re in a black hole, but there’s increasing demand for female tradesmen who are perceived – especially by other women – to be instinctively more reliable, conscientious and trustworthy. In a male dominated field, women homeowners can often feel intimidated or out of their depth by male tradesman who at worst can be condescending. The stereotype of the rude white van driver has been built up for a reason; but women driving vans that are professionally equipped with van racks and accessories are creating a breath of fresh air to the industry.

The Feminine Touch

Aged 54, with two grown up sons, Gill decided to use her redundancy money to retrain as a plumber. She spent £5,000 on training but saw it as an investment to a new career – what’s more, she discovered she wasn’t the only woman training on her course. As Gill added in her interview with the Mirror, she realised being female was in fact an advantage: “I realised there is a huge market for female plumbers and electricians. Some women don’t feel comfortable having a male stranger in the house and others can’t because of their religion, so there’s work for women who want to get into trades.”

If you’re starting out in a new trade and need a professionally equipped van, Vanbitz specialise in van shelving, racks, accessories, security and more – visit:


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