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A FORMER chef is swapping the kitchen for a construction site.

Twenty-seven-year-old Charlotte Milburn has joined housebuilder Prospect Homes as an apprentice assistant site manager.

“The proudest moment of my career so far was walking on site for the first time,” said Charlotte, who lives in Bootle.

“Previously I worked as a nursery kitchen chef, there was no opportunity for progression, and I felt that at this stage in my life I wanted a career whereby I can continue to learn and be successful in a rewarding role.”

Established in 2000, Prospect Homes builds homes across the North West and Yorkshire and is part of The Riverside Group Ltd. All profits made from home sales at Prospect Homes are given back to Riverside to invest in social value work and communities across the UK.

“Construction is not what I’d have ever considered doing to be honest, and everyone who I told about the job when I applied for it said the same thing ‘oh but you’ll be working with all men, you’ll get muddy, and it’ll be cold’,” said Charlotte.

“None of those factors bother me, I’ve worked with men, women, younger and older people of all different backgrounds and different languages and I love adapting to different situations.”

According to figures by GoConstruct*, around 14% of construction industry professionals are women, but these figures are rising with 37% of new industry entrants from higher education, being women.

“Knowing that the percentage of women in construction site management is quite low, it drives me to want to do that little bit better every day, learn more, work harder and be the best version of me I can be and try to bring a different perspective to work,” said Charlotte, who is also studying for a HNC Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor qualification in her spare time.

“I am currently shadowing the site managers on their sites, predominantly on the Lee Park Avenue site, I’m spending time with all site managers, so that I can learn the different ways that they operate,” said Charlotte.

“I’ve met the office team too and everyone is so friendly and welcoming, I can’t wait for the first team outing to get to know everybody more.”

Martin Caldwell, head of construction at Prospect Homes said: “We are pleased to welcome Charlotte to the team at Prospect Homes.

“We are very proud of our apprenticeship scheme, which has been a huge success over the years, I know with guidance and leadership from her colleagues Charlotte will thrive in this role.”

Charlotte added: “My advice for anyone considering a career in the construction industry is to just go for it.

“Don’t let stereotypical judgements and outdated views of construction put you off.

“It’s an exciting career and the opportunities for progression are endless. If you’re hard working and want to be challenged, are passionate and willing to learn then you can be very successful, the benefits are amazing too.”

* Women In Construction (Why More Women Are Joining?) | Go Construct

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