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Case Study: Toni Oakley-Tulk, Technical Trainer at Viessmann Climate Solutions UK

Toni Oakley-Tulk

Toni Oakley-Tulk is a Technical Trainer at Viessmann Climate Solutions UK.

She has been a Technical Trainer at Viessmann Climate Solutions UK since August 2023 and has worked in Engineering since she was 18 years old.

Toni has had two children and became a qualified teacher moving from teaching in a college and to now teaching installers about the range of Viessmann products.

During her career, she has completed two apprenticeships, one in manufacturing engineering and a second to retrain to become a gas service and repair technical engineer.

Toni’s interest in engineering was sparked during her childhood and grew to a possible career prospect in her teenage years. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to be an engineer, spending time with my Dad who was a car mechanic. I even did my work experience with him when I was 14. I knew I would be one of only a few if not the only woman but I never let that stop me, even when all the careers advice guided me towards university and more stereotypical careers.

My favourite subjects were physics and maths, but I also knew I wanted to be hands-on and work at the same time as completing a qualification so an advanced apprenticeship (or two) was definitely the way for me.”

Whilst working as a gas service and repair engineer, Toni turned her attention to becoming a training consultant for others in the gas industry. “I had two children now 13 and 10 and thanks to a fantastic maternity benefit I had nine months off with each one. When I went back to work full time after my daughter it meant working late shifts, weekends and call outs, so I looked at options that would suit me better. That’s when I decided I would like to share my knowledge with others and train people in the gas industry.

When the opportunity came up to become a training consultant I jumped at the chance and for two years I trained internal engineers at the company I worked for and I gained EngTech membership with IGEM.”

Despite facing some challenges along the way, such as balancing work and family responsibilities, Toni continued to develop her professional skills. “This was a great opportunity and led to me getting a job teaching in the construction department at a college where I achieved my CertEd and became a qualified teacher. I still continue to develop my skills and I am due to complete a level 3 heat pump course and will be able to train both gas and renewables.”

As well as becoming a qualified teacher, Toni gets involved with other events and initiatives that support students and apprentices. “Recently, I got to support new talent coming into the industry by being a Judge at the HiP Learner of the Year and Hip Female Skills Competitions where I saw some outstanding work from apprentices and college students, especially the females. The only thing I noticed was the women were less confident in their skills even though the quality was at the same high level as the men.”

From reflecting on her career, Toni gives her advice to young girls and women considering careers in engineering. “I would say to every young girl deciding on a career or woman in search of a change – don’t let being the only woman hold you back, everyone is so supportive and it is so rewarding to work as an engineer within the heating industry. Have confidence, be yourself and let yourself shine!”

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