Limavady teen, Taylor Donaghy is carving out a new career for herself in a world normally dominated by men.
Taylor (17) has become the first woman to take on a level two apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery at North West Regional College (NWRC).
The young Limavady woman recently came second in the north west college’s skills competition after commencing study at its Greystone campus.
Following her GCSEs at Derry’s Oakgrove Integrated College, Taylor was thinking of pursuing a career in hairdressing or music but eventually signed up for an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery.
“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,” she said.
The teenager intends progressing on to a level three apprenticeship and hopes to follow a career in the normally male-dominated trade. She also hopes her example will inspire other young women to look beyond the traditionally female careers.
“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,” she said.
Her NWRC curriculum manager, Raymond Bolt said the college was delighted that Taylor opted to study carpentry. A “model student”, she has created the bench mark for her fellow students to follow, Mr Bolt said.
“Taylor gives her absolute best and is a fantastic asset to the college,” he said.
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