Female Hackney carpenter wins award for adult education success

A female carpenter from Hackney Central has sawn out her dream job and won an award in the process.

When Karen King, 42, found working in a male-orientated environment difficult, she set out on a quest to fight for her rights.

She received an award for her dedication to improving her life and career through training at a ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster on Monday May 14 as part of Adult Learners’ Week.

Ms King now delivers health and safety awareness sessions to construction site workers and has gained multiple qualifications. Until she became one of the first Union Learning Reps in 2004, she worked for over five years in an ill-fitting uniform and was frustrated by the lack of toilets for female construction workers.

She accepted the Learning Works Award from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).

She said: “These achievements have transformed my life. I have a fantastically interesting job meeting and supporting many organisations that require health and safety training.”

NIACE Chief Executive David Hughes said: “Karen’s life has improved because of her commitment, enthusiasm and ambition. I hope that others will be inspired by this story and see the role that learning can play to help them get a better life.”