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Saturday 3 December 2016

More women would be nice - I'd even share the changing room, says only female apprentice hired by Irish Rail

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Apprentice Electrician Olivia Harte and Apprentice Fitter Michael Marrinan in the Inchicore Bogie Shop.
Apprentice Electrician Olivia Harte and Apprentice Fitter Michael Marrinan in the Inchicore Bogie Shop.

Irish Rail is hoping to recruit more women to their apprenticeship programme after just one made the cut last year.

Olivia Harte (28), from Firhouse, was successful in her application to join the company as a trainee electrician last year and has a changing room to herself.

"I love my job," she told the Herald. "I was surprised that there wasn't more women interested in taking up the apprenticeship."

Ms Harte was one of just nine women who applied, in a pool of almost 2,000 hopefuls, last year.

Now, as the recruitment drive begins again, the company is hoping to attract more females.

"It would be nice to have some women around. I'd be willing to share my dressing room," she joked.

She said that she never feels like she doesn't fit in with her colleagues.

"They just treat me like one of the guys. I think they might try to curb their swearing around me - although I don't know why," she said with a laugh.

"Sometimes when I tell people what I do I get the odd funny look.

"People keep asking why would I do that but for me it's much better than a desk job," she said.

As applications open, Ms Harte believes that a lot of women would be suited to a career at the company but see it as a "man's job".

Roles

"Subjects like construction or engineering weren't pushed on us as girls in school," she explained.

"I always had an interest in those areas," she added.

Working on a construction site in Australia , alongside other women, changed her mind.

Details on the new trainee roles at Irish Rail and information about how to apply can be found at www.irishrail.ie

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