Bideford plumbing company appoints its first female apprentice

7:00 a.m. July 10, 2021

Bideford-based 365 Plumbing has announced the appointment of Jodie Dixon as its first apprentice plumber.

Jodie will complete a comprehensive training program under business owner Michael Paine to achieve National WaterSafe Accreditation.

Less than 1% of plumbers in the UK are women. In a recent UK survey conducted by WaterSafe, almost a third (31%) of women said they would prefer a female plumber to carry out work on their home. Reasons cited include feeling safer with a woman (37%), feeling like I’m not getting scammed by a woman (12%), trusting advice from a woman more than a man ( 10%) and the likelihood that a woman won’t date them (10%). Nearly two-thirds of respondents felt it was time to break traditional stereotypes and would like more women to get into plumbing.

“I’m thrilled to have Jodie join the team,” confirmed Michael Paine, owner of 365 Plumbing. “She is exceptionally talented and a people person. Being a woman shouldn’t be a consideration for employers, but facts are facts. Less than 1% of UK plumbers are women! I hope this appointment will inspire more women to enter the profession and other employers to take a hard look at the talent pool in North Devon.

In a separate academic study conducted by WaterSafe, it was found that almost half of all respondents (45%) do not think boys and girls have the same career opportunities and more than a third of girls surveyed (36%) believe that boys are pushed towards more manual trades than them. It is therefore not surprising that the most popular career choice for girls is clerical/administrative positions (36%), followed closely by jobs in the education and entertainment sectors.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn a trade,” commented Jodie Dixon. “Having served in the Royal Navy and worked in NHS mental health services, I wanted to change careers. Finding a female plumber working in North Devon is next to impossible. I want to change that.”

365 Plumbing offers a full range of services from repairing a leaky faucet to designing and installing a complete bathroom.