Sherrie, Construction Level 3

Sherrie Mills identified a gap in her local market where there is a short supply of qualified plumbers. She is now the first person in her family to pursue a career in plumbing at Reading College.

Sherrie explains: “I didn’t think that there were enough plumbers around and I thought it would be a good thing to get into. I thought that I’d struggle to get an apprenticeship straight way, so I came to college to get some experience first.”

When attending a college Open Event, Sherrie visited the plumbing workshop and was so impressed with the facilities that she “felt in her element” straight away. She says that one of her favourite parts of the plumbing programme has been having hands-on experience of using and assembling different materials in the workshop.

Sherrie and her classmates have also enjoyed learning opportunities away from the college, with a visit to a local business park to see a new building being constructed a highlight for her.

And Sherrie did her work experience with a female plumber in Reading, where she had to think on her feet and deal with real-life situations and clients.

Sherrie has been the only female student in her department, which she admits she found a bit daunting at first but jokes that she is “one of the lads now.” Sherrie says: “I’ve found that I’ve made quite a few friends here, and the facilities here are so much better than anywhere else. I’ve been treated more like an adult here.”