Danya – First Fix Carpenter

Danya came to WiC via a SECTA information session in Essex. With a passion for carpentry and experience working on projects in her spare time, Danya was keen to explore ways into a paid role in the trade.

Danya completed her Level 1 Health and Safety Awareness and Labourer’s CSCS Card along with an NOCN CSkill Award Level 1 in Carpentry & Joinery where her skills were noticed by the training provider who awarded her ‘Trainee of the week.

Morgan Sindall Construction then offered Danya a work placement with their sub-contractor where she proved herself to be passionate and driven. Following that experience, Morgan Sindall Property Services heard about Danya’s ability and offered a second placement where she gained further experience in multi-skilled tasks, which she really enjoyed.

With the training and experience now in place, Danya was on the search for paid employment, and as they had been so impressed, the sub-contractor on the Morgan Sindall site got in touch as soon as a role was available and offered Danya paid employment as a 1st fix carpenter.

“I couldn’t be happier. Thank you SECTA and Women into Construction for your continued support and help. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing my dream job!”

2021 Update 

WiC PM, Kirstie Forrester recently caught up with Danya to see how her career in construction is progressing.

Once the Morgan Sindall Southeast College contract had ended, Danya looked for another work placement with the potential to further her training and experience. She applied for many jobs within the carpentry construction sector but found that the qualification most required was the level 2 NVQ (blue card). This was very much a catch 22 situation, as an NVQ is a work-based qualification, but Danya couldn’t get into a workplace to gain/work towards doing it. However, this wasn’t going to deter her from doing her dream job.

Danya applied to NU living (swan housing organisation) via an agency, building modular homes in the Basildon area. Danya was successful in an interview where she showed a willingness to learn and determination. Although Danya had no experience in 2nd fix carpentry, she explained that she was a fast learner with a great work ethic. I also took a portfolio to showcase the work I had completed previously in my spare time, highlighting my ability and creativity – this was a recommendation from Kirstie. The interviewers thought this was a “fantastic idea”.

Having changed direction in her career, Danya was trying to show that her qualification in carpentry did not match her skill level; all she needed was a company to take a chance on her and allow her to progress. Danya contacted Morgan Sindall Construction and asked if she could put them down as referee, which they were happy to do. Danya was ecstatic to have a call a couple of days later, offering her the position via an agency.

This was in September 2020; to find work during the Covid pandemic wasn’t easy. The job entailed installing pre-hung doors on door frames and fitting door stops, architrave, skirting, window boards, countertops and vanity units in modular homes manufactured in a warehouse. This was exactly the type of work experience Danya wanted. Also, a bonus is that it is in the dry out of the weather elements.

Danya was offered a permanent position with NU Living in March 2021 and has now passed her probation period with flying colours. Danya has asked if it was possible to gain the NVQ level 2 whilst working with the company, and NU living is in the process of working to make this happen in the beginning of 2022.

Talking about her Journey into Construction, Danya says, “Honestly, I couldn’t be happier; my friends and family have said they have noticed such a change in me from when I was working in a job that I didn’t want to be in anymore and not fulfilling my full potential.”

And to those looking to change careers, Danya comments, “My advice to anyone wishing to be a better version of themselves. Don’t put off your own happiness, you are in control of that. Be brave, be determined and put your mind to it, and you will succeed.”