Plus Dane plumber named apprentice of the year

A plumbing apprentice from a North West housing association has been named apprentice of the year at an industry awards ceremony.

Jacqueline Whitehead of Plus Dane Housing was one of the winners at this week’s Builder and Engineer Awards.

The event was held at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club and featured guest after-dinner speaker, rugby player Gavin Hastings OBE.

The award rounds off a successful year of recognition for Jacqui, who at work was also named Plus Dane’s apprentice of the year.

In addition, she has been shortlisted for the Women in Housing Best Female Apprentice/Trainee Award and Best Apprentice/ New Starter (25 and over) in the Women in Construction awards, and she was highly commended in the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year category of the North West final of the National Apprentice Awards. She also appeared in a special episode of the BBC One show DIY SOS, helping with a project to transform an entire street of rundown houses into homes for war veterans.

Jacqueline said:

“It has been an amazing year for me and it’s brilliant to have won this award. When I was offered a plumbing apprenticeship I just couldn’t wait to get started, it was what I always wanted to do.

“If I could offer one message to other women and mothers out there, it is that a career in construction is possible, it is attainable, and there are companies out there that value the diversity that women can bring to the workforce.”

Plus Dane chief executive Barbara Spicer said:

“We are very proud of Jacqui’s achievements this year. She’s an example to all women not to be deterred by careers or roles in typically male dominated areas. She is hard-working and enthusiastic, has a positive attitude, is willing to learn and determined to succeed.”

Over the course of her career, Jacqui has completed a foundation degree in construction for females; a plastering apprenticeship and is now finally on course to fulfil her dream to be a plumber. She is multi-skilled in bench joinery, tiling, bricklaying, and painting and decorating.

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