This month, the ACR Journal interviewed Anna Shipley, Service Manager and ‘Girl Friday’ at ACS, Wrexham.
Where did you study? I studied in house and completed my F-Gas through HRP (our local distributor).
What was your first job? I worked as an estate agent for years then when the property bubble burst I came to give my father a hand in his business. Nine years later I am still here. I started helping with installations, running around with a hoover, but I much preferred the servicing side as I was able to go and meet customers and see all the sites.
Where do you work now? I am mostly office-based after I was ‘banned’ from site when I was pregnant. We took someone on while I was pregnant to do my job and kept them on afterwards. So mainly office, but we do sell a certain bit of kit (Stagionello) from Italy for which I am the only UK and Ireland engineer trained to use, repair and sell, so I do get to travel to see those customers, travelling from near Folkestone up to Scotland and Belfast.
What excites/interests you about the industry? I like that every job is different, every site is different with its own challenges so each day is different.
Where do you see your career developing? I hope to help my father progress the business as it has done in the past.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given? Don’t assume anything and always wear steel toecap shoes.
What are the challenges of this industry? Training is very difficult as it is not easily obtained in our area of the country. Luckily we can get some in Warrington, but it mostly seems to be in London. Also, when we try and hire staff it can be difficult and we have to take on untrained staff and train in house.
What are the benefits of being in your role? Having been on site for years and now in the office, I know a lot of the quirks of each site and sometimes know more about the site’s equipment than the owner. Also I can quote easily for repairs as I have more of an idea on how long it takes to change a compressor.
What industry associations are you involved with, and what are the benefits? Refcom, Safe Contractor, Constructionline, they all show how much we respect safety.
What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the ACR industry? Go for it if you like a challenge both mentally and physically (if you are on site).
Are you a candidate for our Women in ACR feature? Or do you know someone who is? Please contact David Todd, email@example.com, 01778 392094.
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