An employee at a North Yorkshire-based business is celebrating 25 years of service on International Women’s Day and during National Careers Week.

Derwent Training is highlighting the ongoing issue of women's underrepresentation in the engineering industry

Nichola Zanda joined the Malton-based training and apprenticeship provider in 1999 as a receptionist, having previously worked in the travel industry.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Nichola Zanda is celebrating 25 years of service with Malton-based Derwent TrainingNichola Zanda is celebrating 25 years of service with Malton-based Derwent Training (Image: PEACHY DIGITAL)

Over the years, her demonstration of competence in managing the company's data systems rewarded her with a promotion to the senior team in 2018.

Her role as business support manager has expanded to overseeing the whole business support team while carrying out other administrative functions.

CEO, Claire Gavaghan said: “When I first arrived as CEO, I think it is fair to say that Nikki was unsure of her own abilities.

"However it was evident to me that she was more than capable if she was encouraged to follow her instinct because she had acquired a vast amount of knowledge.

“I gave Nikki space to take the lead once the direction and strategy were agreed and finalised. She always seeks guidance when needed but quite simply - she has flown.

"She has my full confidence when speaking to the Department of Education or any auditor. I have certainly seen her as an integral part of the Derwent Training team during the five years I have been here.

"I congratulate her on her 25 years at an independent training provider - just think of the number of apprentices she has supported, what a phenomenal achievement.”

Research conducted in 2022 shows that women make up 16.5 per cent of all UK engineers, and females represent 23 per cent of the construction and utilities workforce, but there is a target in place to grow these figures to at least 30 per cent by 2030.

Nichola said: “I started as a young woman who moved across from working in the travel industry and the education sector was completely new to me.

"I am proud to have worked my way up in the company and have seen a lot of changes both in the education sector and the company as it has grown.

It has not always been easy. However, I have been able to make a significant contribution to its success and stability. Looking back, I smile at the young woman who was not sure she would stay but look at me now!”

  • Derwent Training provides training to apprentices, employers and individuals to build skills and improve employability across Yorkshire and the North East from its training centre in Malton, where it can offer face-to-face delivery such as level three and level four apprenticeships, as well as online delivery to upskill employees through bespoke training and CPD courses.