Ambassador helps keep Lancashire roads safe

08 May 2015     JTL

A JTL Ambassador helped keep the roads of Lancashire safe this winter, having joined the all-male gritter team to battle the weather.

Adele Walsh, 24, from Wigan, recently finished her first season working as part of Lancashire County Council’s Winter Highways team. Adele is a third-year JTL electrical apprentice with the council, and was the only female in the 1,189 square mile county to drive the council’s gritting lorries this winter.

Having taken on the role from October 2014 until the end of March 2015, Adele was regularly on call and worked a number of non-standard days, including being in action from 6pm on Christmas Day.

“I’m really proud of the work I’ve done as part of the Winter Service team, particularly as I don’t know of any other women who have taken on the job,” Adele said.

“I feel I’m helping to open doors for other women who want to push the boundaries a bit and do something that’s slightly different from the norm. The guys on the team were a bit surprised when I arrived for work on the first day, but they quickly realised I was fully able to do the job, and a grafter too.”

“January was especially busy on the roads and meant lots of weekends waiting for a call, so no going out and definitely no drinking! I really loved the work, especially being out in the truck very early in the morning or late at night – even though I’m sure I was sometimes passing my friends coming back from the club or the nightclub!”

Having not planned a practical career originally, Adele explains how she got into the trade after beginning her A-Levels.

“I originally wanted to be an English teacher”, she explains, “but had a change of heart when I was doing my A-Levels, wanting something more practical. I haven’t looked back since – I’m now three years into my apprenticeship and enjoying every minute, including my one day a week in college and my four-day working week.”

As one of JTL’s Ambassadors, Adele is one of the group of 22 female apprentices spreading the word of careers as electricians or plumbers via a building services engineering apprenticeships to other young women.

Phil Durnell, Head of Lancashire County Council Highway Service, also paid tribute to her hard work.

“Adele fitted right into our dedicated winter gritting team, and I’m very grateful for her hard work over the season”, he said.

“Gritting the roads can be a difficult and risky job at times, and we really need people like Adele who are prepared to do the unsociable hours and take on the worst of the weather to keep everyone else safe on our roads.”

Adele Walsh, JTL electrical apprentice and Ambassador

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