Samantha Hansford lives in Romford, Essex, with her mum and dad.
She went to school at Sacred Heart of Mary Girls School, Upminster, passing her GCSEs and taking AS Levels in Biology, Chemistry , ICT and Film Studies, but didn’t stay on to sit her A-levels.
She explains: “It just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t imagine going on to university and then doing an office job. I was more interested in practical work; I wanted variety when it came to my career.”
Samantha enrolled on an electrical apprenticeship, studying at Barking & Dagenham College and started work with Hanover Electrical Contractors. “I was really nervous when I started, but everyone was really friendly and made me feel really welcome. They helped me out so much, especially when I first started on-site and was struggling a bit. But I quickly got used to the atmosphere and learnt to hold my own in the banter stakes pretty quickly!”
Two thirds into her apprenticeship Samantha has absolutely no regrets. “I’m really happy I did it. I love the variety, there’s always something different to do or learn and I love watching myself get better and do things quicker. That’s the best thing about an apprenticeship – you can see what you’ve done in the working day and you can watch yourself improve.”
So what would Samantha say to a young girl who’s thinking about an apprenticeship? “Go for it. It opens so many doors, and there’s so much you can do when you finish. It’s not just about building sites and houses, you can work anywhere and do anything you want to!”
Samantha is a JTL Apprentice Ambassador, part of a nationwide programme which is being delivered by training charity JTL. The Apprentice Ambassador Initiative aims to encourage more young women to enter apprenticeship in the craft sector.