Taylor Donaghy, who was placed second in the college’s recent Skills Competition, says she loves her course at NWRC Greystone and hopes her experience encourages other young women to follow in her footsteps.
The 17 year-old enrolled at NWRC after finishing her GCSEs at Oakgrove College.
She explained: “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, I thought about studying Music or Hairdressing.
“When I told friends and family I had finally settled on an Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery, it was a bit of a shock for them, they weren’t expecting me to say that.
“But I’ve loved every second of it. I always enjoyed Technology and Design at school and I like being creative, so this course seemed natural to me.
“It was pretty scary coming into college on the first day, I knew I was going to be the only girl on the course and it would take me time to get used to it. But I get on well with all the boys and I’m one of them now.
“I like the practical element of the course even though when I came in on the first day and saw all the machinery I’d have to use, I was a little terrified.
“I’ve also been out on work placement as part of my course working with Compass Windows in Dungiven.
“It’s been great experience and very beneficial to work on live projects.
“This is my path now and I’m very confident I’ve chosen the right career. My plan is to stay here and complete my full Apprenticeship up to Level 3.”
Taylor says she hopes her experience will encourage other young women to consider training a career that traditionally has been a male dominated industry.
She said: “There’s no reason not to give it a try, if you’re interested in it, then go for it. It’s not about proving anything, it’s just trying to do the best you can.”
Raymond Bolt, Curriculum Manager at NWRC Greystone said: “NWRC is delighted to welcome Taylor to the college and we hope her experience will encourage other women to enrol in a course studying Trades and Apprenticeships.
“Taylor has a lot to offer including good hand skills, knowledge retention and a willingness to be totally involved .
“As the weeks went on Taylor firmly established herself as a model student in the class completely defying the stereotype about women in construction trades.
“Taylor is quite competitive and created the bench mark to be beaten.“When it came to the inter college carpentry competition Taylor, along with five of her fellow students attended ten extra 2 hour sessions in the evening to practice geometry skills.
“Taylor gives her absolute best and is a fantastic asset to the college.”
Everyone is invited to NWRC’s Open Days at the end of February.
Strabane Campus Open day will take place on February 25 from 12-8 p.m., Strand Road and Springtown Campus will be hosted an Open Day on February 26 from 12-8 p.m. and Limavady and Greystone Campus on February 27 from 12-8 p.m.
A Saturday open day session will also run at Strand Road Campus next Saturday, February 29 from 11 am – 2 pm.