What we do
We’ve a highly-trained workforce of circa 3500, 40 + national operational centres, 4 training hubs and a fleet of over 2500 vehicles.
Each year on the 23rd June 2023, we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day. To mark this year’s celebration, Kelly Group is proud to recognise our valued female ‘engineering heroes’. With this year’s theme being ‘Make Safety Seen’, we’re thrilled to take the opportunity to introduce you to Chanelle Edwards, whose responsibility as Traffic Management Operative is very much safety focused and a selection of female engineers sharing their inspiration and tips for those who are considering a career as an engineer.
Chanelle Edwards – Traffic Management Operative
From Fashion Designer to Traffic Management Operative / Admin
"I went to university and studied international fashion production management, after obtaining my degree I went on an extraordinary journey and had the pleasure to be part of many projects in the fashion industry including a TV show called Flower Fight alongside my friend. The show created many opportunities to explore, then the global pandemic slowed the fashion industry down and I was interested in exploring a new career path. I have a few family members who have established careers in Traffic Management, and they inspired me to complete all necessary street work tickets allowing me to work with them occasionally at the time. During the pandemic, it seemed like an obvious choice to utilise my skillset and generate an income for my family as a traffic management operative. I was working shifts through an agency at the time, and a fellow operative mentioned Kelly Group and it sounded like an interesting path to explore.
Kelly Group Training Journey
While I was going through the application and interview process, I researched Kelly Group’s background and I was in awe of the number of contracts we’re involved with, it provides the opportunity to diversify your skillset further. The training journey was a great experience, I was the only female who was completing the course at the time; however, I wasn’t uncomfortable at all – I am very secure with myself. Although it is a male-dominated industry, I remain very secure in my femininity; I still enjoy hair and nails while doing my job to the best of my ability.
I had the opportunity to work behind the scenes in the office which opened my eyes up even more to how much there is to traffic management. I don’t think I could be permanently office based because I genuinely enjoy being a traffic management operative, spending time outside and having the opportunity to learn from those engineers who we are supporting with traffic management procedures.
Billy Swan has been my biggest supporter since the beginning of my journey. Not only has he taught me a lot about traffic management, but he’s been instrumental in ensuring my success. He’s done it all and worked his way up to regional manager which inspires other operatives within our team.
A Day in My Life as a Traffic Management Operative
We get our schedule the day before and our packs which always include a description of the location and equipment we’ll need the following day. It could vary from traffic lights two, three or four-way to redirecting pedestrians. Sometimes you could be working individually, depending on the type of work you could also work with a team. We tend to start our day by packing up the required equipment at our local depot and then we head out to each location allocated to us for the day and complete road closures. What I enjoy the most about my job is the people. I also like the idea that I’m in a position where I know how I can keep people safe by closing or diverting routes ensuring our engineers can do their jobs efficiently. My proudest achievement as a traffic management operative is gaining all the necessary qualifications and tickets for traffic management. I was working in traffic management during my pregnancy up until the point when it was safe to do so, and I’m grateful that the Group provided the opportunity to transfer to our office team for the remainder of my pregnancy. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the administration involved in traffic management and since then I am proud to work a hybrid role supporting the company both in the office and in the field.
There are plenty of opportunities within Kelly Group as we are so multi-faceted. If you want to make the most of these opportunities, as a woman you have to be actively out there and chase these opportunities. Times have changed, women are just as competent to create a career within a male-dominated industry. You just need to be able to adapt to the environment, it can be a little different to what your previous work environment was, but as a woman, it is also important to be adapting and avoid being too sensitive. In my opinion, the growing number of female operatives will definitely help the industry attract more females and I’m hoping to see many more women joining our teams."
Georgina Schofield – Service Delivery Engineer
“I have worked for Kelly Group for 2 years as a Service Delivery Engineer connecting homes and businesses to the Openreach network providing phone and internet services. My role involves working inside the exchanges, street cabinets, and distribution points to connect the customer with service at their property. I was influenced to pursue a career within the telecommunications industry by seeing other engineers working in the field, who all seemed happy and proud while working. I was fascinated by how the whole network works. After researching the role, I realized how fitting it was. I enjoy working outside, I’m not afraid of heights, the job keeps me fit, and no two days are the same. My advice for future female engineers is to always believe in themselves, make the most out of challenging technical situations, find experienced engineers and learn from them, and deliver on commitments, even if it means working harder than anyone else.”
Annie McGhee – Telecoms Engineer
“I started my journey at Kelly Group just over a year ago as a new-to-field engineer on the CityFibre contract and now I am a fully qualified telecoms engineer. Previously I worked as a team leader for a security company which involved sitting in the office from 9 to 5 and being available for our teams on the phone 24/7. I felt like I wanted to change my career path, for something which is a lot more hands-on and an environment where I have the opportunity to prove myself. One of my family members has already had a successful career at Kelly Group as an engineer and when he was telling me about his day-to-day activities, I felt like I should give it a try. I’m glad I was successful with my application because I ended up loving my job. At first, entering the training facility I felt a little intimidated being the only female trainee within our group. Shortly, I realised it was all for nothing because all trainers and fellow trainee engineers were very supportive ever since day 1. I am continuously trying to improve my skills as an engineer and establish a successful career by becoming a step-up team leader. My advice for females who are thinking about taking up a career in engineering is, don’t be scared to give it a go. There are loads of people around you who will support you on your journey every step of the way.”
Eimear O’Shea – Telecoms Engineer
“I joined Kelly Group in November 2022 as a New-to-Field Engineer and currently work as a Telecoms Engineer on our CityFibre contract. I completed my education in relation to engineering however I felt like instead of completing a university course, an apprenticeship programme suits my learning style much more. While looking for the perfect opportunity, I started working as a chef. One day I came across the Kelly Group engineer opportunity, which also provides in-depth training and I decided to take a chance and apply. I was delighted to find out I was a successful candidate and embarked on my training journey. During our training period, everyone was very supportive of each other which made the experience more enjoyable. I genuinely enjoy the job and would advise any women out there to just go for it, if engineering is something that interests you.”
Holly McDermot – Fibre Engineer
“I joined Kelly Group as a Fibre Engineer working on our CityFibre contract a year ago. Before joining the Group, I was a vehicle maintenance technician. I’ve known quite a few people who were working for Kelly Group at the time, and they were all extremely happy with their experience, so I decided to apply for the position. I’m glad I explored the opportunity because it is the best job I ever had. I travelled down to Nuneaton from Scotland for my training. Our national trainers as well as fellow trainees were all extremely supportive and our training journey was a very positive experience. During my time as an engineer, I developed many skills that I didn’t have before and made life-long friends at the company. My advice for those women who are considering engineering as a career path is to go for it, it is a journey that you need to experience for yourself, but you won’t be able to decide if it is right for you without giving it an opportunity. Nobody treats me differently, and I am happy to see more and more females joining our workforce every week.”
Renae Buttler -Plant Hire Administrator
“I started my journey at Kelly Group in October 2021 as a Dispatcher working on our Openreach contract and I recently joined the plant team as a Plant Hire Administrator. I decided to start a career within the telecommunication industry due to a family member’s recommendation who was working for Kelly Group at the time. What makes my job enjoyable is the variety of tasks and the opportunity to get to know people within our business. Our team supports our engineering workforce by ordering warehouse stock ensuring we have uniforms and top-quality equipment available so they can complete their job smoothly and safely. We also complete maintenance and service on electrical equipment ensuring that all equipment within stores is kept in top shape and ready for our engineers. My advice for women who would like to pursue a career within the industry is simply to put their best foot forward. There are plenty of support channels within the business to ensure your success.”
Leyean De Souze – Plant Administrator
“I joined Kelly Group in April 2023 as a Plant Administrator. I’ve had previous experience as an admin in the technology industry, therefore this position opened up a whole new world for me within the telecommunications industry. My role contributes to the safety of our engineers by ensuring they have all the necessary equipment available to complete their jobs safely. I am also involved in the plant hire process where we prioritise a safety check of all functions before they’re picked up by engineers ensuring it is in top shape and safe for use. My advice for other females considering a career within the telecommunications industry is just to go for it. I had plenty of support from my team when I joined, and I have a strong support system if I need advice.”
Amanda Denise - Auditor
“I joined Kelly Group 6 years ago. I started my career journey as PA to Directors at Kelly House, Wembley; after 3 years of assisting directors, I wanted to further my knowledge about the services Kelly Group provides for our clients. I was delighted when I had the opportunity to move to our Brimsdown depot as a Yard Supervisor and received training on national audits for our plant department. I completed various training including civils supervisor and signs lines and guards course allowing me to work on civils projects. I am currently working as an auditor for our Openreach however, I would love to be more involved in civils works in the future and build a career within that sector. My advice for women who would like to start their career within the industry is to apply for a position and give it a go. Don’t feel like jobs within our industry are only for men, we see more and more females joining us each week. There are endless opportunities within Kelly Group and you will discover something that will interest you.”
Kelly House, Fourth Way, Wembley
Middlesex, HA9 0LH
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