16 January 2024
Caring for the environment and looking for a practical hands-on job is what attracted Georgia to the sector. Interestingly, the traineeship Georgia is on is entirely made up of females. Read on to find out more about her wonderful journey.
How did you get into the heat pump industry?
I care a lot about the environment and have tried to do my bit to lower my carbon impact, just little things like recycling, using reusable products where I can and trying to reduce my energy consumption. I knew that heat pumps had a lower carbon impact than traditional gas boilers so I was interested in being part of this transition to lower carbon energy. I was also looking for a practical, hands-on job where I could do something different every day.
I got into the heat pump industry when I applied for the traineeship with Your Energy Your Way (YEYW). Seeing how YEYW supported women and diversity as a whole within the industry, encouraged me to apply. The trainee scheme that I am doing is made up entirely of females which has made YEYW workforce split 50/50 with men and women being equally represented.
On the first day of the traineeship, we had an induction day at Samsung’s head offices and training centre where we met the team and my mentor on the scheme, Aimee who works on business development at Samsung and started out as a plumbing apprentice. This outside perspective is really helpful in developing my knowledge and confidence in the low carbon heating sector. It was really interesting to understand how the business works from meeting the product manager, training and marketing team. I’m looking forward to working together both on my development and raising awareness for the industry, particularly for women.
What was your first job?
My first job was working for a well-known pub chain as a waitress after school, after leaving this job I started work as a supermarket assistant in Waitrose, this job entailed completing a number of differing roles including shelf stacking, replacing point of sale signs, working on the tills, answering questions from customers in the store and directing them where to find things. I enjoyed engaging with the customers and found it rewarding helping them where I was able. The traineeship scheme is my first job in the low carbon heating industry and I’m really excited to start my career in this sector.
What does your current role involve?
My role currently involves a lot of listening, watching and learning about the work that Your Energy Your Way is doing day by day – installing heat pumps and solar PV systems. I am starting to get involved hands on with soldering, fitting solar panels on roofs and commissioning heat pumps, all under the supervision of the YEYW team.
I’ve been into Nesta’s offices in London with Nathan Gambling at BetaTeach for our first learning sessions, which will happen every fortnight. This is great to get all of the trainees together, and we also have a portal on the app where we can share our experiences and learn from each other as we each have slightly different on-the-job experiences at the moment. For example, I recently fitted a heat pump sensor outside to detect weather conditions, and the others haven’t done this yet, so I wrote up my learning and can now help the others with this.
What do you see as the challenges facing the industry?
Consumer awareness is a big thing, as many people are not aware about the benefits and efficiency of heat pumps.
For instance, when I’m speaking to my family and friends about what I’m doing, they knew very little about heat pumps before so it’s really interesting explaining to them what I’m learning. We really need to raise awareness about the advantages to encourage widespread adoption, especially as there are higher upfront costs compared to traditional gas boilers which can be an obstacle to heat pump adoption.
What would you say to other women who are considering coming into the heat pump industry?
First and foremost, believing in yourself is extremely important, as is having confidence in your abilities. Don’t be discouraged by stereotypes or gender biases. As a woman in a traditionally male dominated field, you can be an advocate for diversity and inclusion, to encourage more women to join the industry and inspire others.
What do you like to do outside of work?
The main things I enjoy outside of work are; going on long dog walks with family or friends, I also love to travel, whether that be exploring parts of the UK with my friends, spending long weekends around Europe or travelling to new countries further afield. In April 2022, I travelled to Thailand and spent three months backpacking around the country with three friends. I also enjoy keeping fit and attend the gym regularly and have set myself the goal of hiking up Snowdon in 2024.