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18 March 2008

Local woman enjoys a new career thanks to her Little Buddy

A local Andover woman is proving that a woman can succeed in a man’s world by becoming one of only two female windscreen technicians in the country replacing screens solo.

Twenty-six-year-old Janine Cairns, of XX near Andover is able to carry out her job thanks to a new invention - The Little Buddy. This is a revolutionary device with a telescopic arm, introduced by Autoglass sister company Belron Technical and is capable of lifting 20kg of glass, providing that extra bit of power needed to safely lift a windscreen and put it in to place.

Based at the Autoglass Salisbury branch in Faraday Road, Churchfields, Janine is hoping that her story will encourage more women across the region and indeed the country to join the industry.

She explained: “I was bored working in a factory and was looking for a job that would provide a good level of training and would allow me to get out and about. When my partner found the advertisement for Autoglass I had to have a think as it wasn’t a career I’d automatically have considered – but I’m so glad I did. I never thought that I would be one of the first women in the country to be able to replace windscreens on my own and encouraging others to give it a try.

“After a ten week training programme at the branch and at the Autoglass training centre in Birmingham, I was ready for the challenge. The job’s great, but you have to take a bit of banter as most people are not expecting a woman and are shocked when I arrive to replace the windscreen on my own – without the Little Buddy I wouldn’t be able to.

“The first few jobs on my own were really nerve wracking but I sensed straight away that I was going to like it – I love being out and about, I’d hate to be stuck in an office. I enjoy having a career that helps people when they really need it.

“More women really ought to think about my job as a skilled career option – at the moment there are just two female technicians at Autoglass who replace windscreens so there is plenty of room for more.”

Paul Day, Salisbury branch manager added: “We always welcome applications from women and have a number of female technicians who work on repairs, however physical constraints can make replacements difficult. Thanks to the Little Buddy, we hope to dramatically increase the number of female technicians we have on our force.”

Autoglass is committed to providing a service which reaches the highest safety standards and last year became the first company within the glazing industry to introduce the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) Scheme for its technicians. The company operates 121 branches nationwide and 1,300 mobile service units. For further information visit www.Autoglass.co.uk

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