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Remi champions women in construction and celebrates winning Electrician of the Year title

Remi Newman from New City College wins Electrician of the Year

Female construction student Remi Newman from New City College is celebrating ‘the double’ after winning a London-wide Electrician of the Year competition – and then being offered an apprenticeship by the contest’s sponsors!

Remi, who is on the Level 2 Electrical Installations course at New City College’s Construction & Engineering Centre in Rainham, went up against 10 other female trainees and tradeswomen in the International Women’s Day competition, sponsored by ESG and hosted at Lewisham College.

The 16-year-old, who lives in Dagenham, did particularly well to take the title as she was competing against females of a high standard, including apprentices and some who are working in the industry already.

She said: “It’s been crazy! People and companies on social media are recognising me since I won. I feel like I have proved to myself that I am good at what I do and I am capable of doing it.

“I’m obviously in a male-dominated industry and I did think I would come up against problems, but I honestly haven’t. I would recommend every girl to just go for it.

“People are always shocked when I tell them what I want to do, but I enjoy it and it’s so rewarding. We still have a way to go in terms of stereotypes of women in a trade, however I like to prove their perceptions wrong. The industry is changing. Women now have their own work clothes, tools and their own toilets on many sites.”

On the competition day, the entrants had to take part in an industry-standard technical challenge within a time limit with their finished pieces being judged by qualified professionals.

Remi said: “We had all day to complete the challenge, it was quite involved and took a while. We were given a small diagram and left to our own devices, working out measurements and scaling up the job.

“I didn’t expect to win at all, the others were highly skilled. I just thought it would be a good experience!”

She said the offer of the apprenticeship with ESG was the icing on the cake: “They contacted me the next day and I’ve already been on site to gain experience with them, which was great.”

She said she will be staying at New City College to complete her qualification, saying: “I had the choice of lots of colleges for my apprenticeship with ESG, but I specifically asked if I could stay at Rainham. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, I want to stay here because I love it.”

Remi’s tutor Simon Horrocks said: “Remi’s win was a triumph for the women at Rainham. She was very nervous to start with, but once she got settled, she showed just how good she is. Her work was of a very high standard and this shone through. The prizes were excellent. She won so many I think she may have struggled getting them all home!”

Head of Rainham Construction and Engineering Centre, Catherine Foley, added: “It was a fantastic win for us. A female from New City College winning a construction competition on International Women’s Day!

“I am incredibly proud of Remi. She is a role model for other young females aspiring to get into a male-dominated industry and her hard work and dedication has proved itself.

“At Rainham, we encourage all learners not to let stereotype be a barrier. We are really looking forward to having Remi continue her studies with us at New City College Rainham.”

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