“The best thing I got out of the course is that I realized this is what I want to do”

After two years taking care of her young daughters, Lourdes Moreno has decided to rejoin the labour market through home automation, a field unknown to her. After training in a course on “Assembly and Maintenance of Home Automation and Building Systems”, this woman from Granada is convinced that her future will be linked to the sector.

Lourdes Moreno had no previous experience in the sector. At the age of 29 and with two little girls, she decided to train in a new subject she found interesting in order to return to the labour market: home automation. After six months in the course, Lourdes has just finished her training with the Certificate of Professionalism of “Assembly and Maintenance of Domotic and Building Management Systems”, framed within the Project Granada Empleo III, co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Provincial Council of Granada. Now Lourdes, who has discovered her true vocation, wants to continue training and working in the sector to become a professional.

QUESTION: How did you find out about Fundación Laboral course?

ANSWER: I found out through a youth employment campaign of the Provincial Council of Granada. I searched a lot among the courses offered, taking into account my profile. It was also the only thing that caught my attention, because the world of home automation and building management is something quite new and it caught my attention, and it has been truly a great experience.

Q.- Did you have any previous experience in the sector?

A.- Not at all, I started from scratch. I have always been in the hotel business, but now that I am mother of two very young girls, 3 years old and 22 months old, I cannot juggle that kind of work with the family.

Q.- How was your first day on the course?

A.- I was a bit curious to see what I would find. I was nervous at first, but it turned out well. It was a very big step for me, because I had been taking care of my daughters for two years and socially opening again was very important.

Q.- Without having any knowledge of electronics or previous experience, did you find it difficult to adapt to the course?

A.- I was very surprised because there were people quite prepared, with superior courses in electronics and so on. It was a bit difficult to get myself together, but my colleagues helped me a lot. I was also lucky because our teacher was very good and patient. In the end I learned a lot and I’m very happy.

Q.- Didn’t you have any doubts when you registered for this type of course?

A.- Not really. When I saw the course I was very curious, and the timetable was very good, I could combine it with my partner’s. I have also realized that this is a world that I like very much and in which I would like to continue training. It’s a bit complicated, because I would have to combine this training with my children and with work, but, as far as I can, I’m going to continue training.

Q.- How did your colleagues react when they saw you on the first day?

A.- I was the only girl on the course, but I didn’t back down. My classmates have treated me like one more, no more and no less. There have always been comments, but positive ones. They have told me that I have had a lot of initiative or that I was courageous to get involved in this, because the world of electricity is a bit dangerous. As long as you follow the rules, it is all right, but there is always a bit of danger in it, and it does impose respect. That’s why the first few days I was a bit more withdrawn. When I started to learn, I was more relaxed.

Q.- Why do you think not many women are encouraged to participate in this type of course?

A.- I don’t know. I think it’s because of the education we are given as children. Boys are taught different than girls… The education we are given from childhood influences everything. In my case, I come from a very humble family, and we have worked very hard in the field. I imagine that doing that kind of work has also made me take the step of not being afraid of a job like that.

Q.- What memories do you have of your time on the course? What do you think now that you’d finished it?

A.- I especially liked the first months, since I learned a lot and we put into practice what we learned. I saw how I was getting better day by day, I was losing my fear. It didn’t fulfil my expectations for the practical part, though. I did my internship in a very small company, which was just starting up, and there wasn’t much opportunity to continue. There I expanded my knowledge in matters of building management working for companies in Malaga and Granada.

Q.- What surprised you most about what you learned in the course?

A.- I especially liked a simulation we did with home automation games on the operation of a system on boards, just like in a house. We saw the operation, and we could handle everything from the mobile phone. It was great. You see your work done. It was very satisfying starting from knowing nothing to ending up doing all that.

Q.- What are your future plans? Do you want to continue training in the sector?

A.- I am now preparing for university access. I would like to do a Higher Vocational Training in Automation and Robotics, but I would have to combine it with a job to have savings. Right now I see it as a bit of a dream with the situation I have, because after being out of work for a while, taking care of my daughters, it is very difficult to get back into labour market.

Q.- So, you want to continue your training in the same line as what you just did…

A.- The best thing I have learned from the course is that I have realized that this is what I would like to do, what I would like to dedicate myself to. I want to continue training and have a job related to this subject. Here in Granada I know it is very difficult, but I will try.

Q.- Do you think you could have launched yourself into the sector earlier?

A.- Yes, but there are times when it is difficult to find your ideal job or what you will really like to do for the rest of your life.

Q.- And is this what you would like to do for the rest of your life?

A.- Yes, I noticed it in a door factory in Malaga, when I saw the incredible things you can do through programming. Programming is as important as installation, you can do many things, but to get there you need to work and study.

Q.- Do you think age is important when doing this kind of work?

A.- No, not at all. In the course there were people of all ages. The oldest man was in his fifties, and he had the same or more enthusiasm than me, that I am 29 years old. There were also young people, boys of 18, 22, 24…

Q.- How do you think the sector will evolve in the coming years?

A.- The home automation sector is evolving by leaps and bounds, it is the future. Now it is being used mostly in coastal areas, where there are mainly second homes… The building automation is fundamental in the factories. I believe that all this has a future.

Q.- What would you say to a girl who is considering entering the construction industry?

A.- That she has to try. I’m sure most girls who try this see that they are capable of doing the job 100% and will be surprised of what they can do. There will always be someone in the family who will tell you that you are crazy, that this is a job for men. But if that’s what you like because it gets your attention… In the end you see yourself as capable as a man.

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