A talented student has become one of only two qualified female plasterers in the North East.
Margaret Temple, 42, swapped her job in the care industry to train as a plasterer at East Durham College in Peterlee.
And, the Horden woman has just qualified with flying colours from her CSkills Level 2 Diploma in Plastering.
Now she plans to set up her own pastering business in this traditionally male dominated industry.
She hopes she could fill a void in the market and believes that some ciustomers may feel more comfortable having a tradeswoman working inside their homes.
Margaret said: “I’d worked in the care sector for over 15 years; it was often hard work both physically and emotionally and after also caring for my father before his death I decided I needed a complete change of career.
A lot of my elderly clients told me they were uncomfortable with letting tradesmen into their homes and that’s what gave me the idea to retrainMargaret Temple
“A lot of my elderly clients told me they were uncomfortable with letting tradesmen in their homes and that’s what gave me the idea to retrain to help fill a gap in the market for a qualified female tradesperson.
“I’d seen stories in the press about a female plasterer in the North West and in the East Midlands and one in Darlington. So, I decided that would be a good trade to pick.
“I’ve been so pleased with that decision, the course and Derek my lecturer have been totally brilliant. I’ve learnt so much over the last year, I can’t believe it really.”
Margaret’s hard work paid off and she not only gained a distinction grade, but was also named level two plastering student of the year at the college.
Lecturer Derek Champley said: “Margaret is a model student and has been a complete natural at picking up the practical plastering skills and techniques.
“From the first minute of the course, she’s shown a real passion for the subject.
“I have absolutely no doubt she will make a success of her new business venture.
“There’s certainly a market out there for Margaret and the potential for her to do really well and make some real money.”
Margaret plans to use social media and a snazzy new van to promote her business and is confident word of mouth will play a big role in helping her business grow too, but she would welcome any clever ideas for a name for her new venture.
Anyone with any suggestions should email firstname.lastname@example.org and the college will pass them on to Margaret.