PROPERTY compliance specialist Inspectas is tackling the issue of gender representation in the asbestos industry head on, with the appointment of two female trainee analyst surveyors.

Lilly Holden, 18, and Abbi Molyneux, 19, are the newest recruits to the Bradford-based asbestos management specialists, which celebrated its 10th anniversary and doubled its office space last year.

The company says appointing the duo represents its “commitment to inclusivity and diversity and its investment in the next generation of asbestos analysts”.

Both trainees are on a five-year path to become qualified asbestos management consultants with full support and financing of their British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) qualifications.

With a passion for STEM subjects, Lilly hopes her new role will inspire others to pursue a career they love.

She said: “I’ve always been practical and hands-on and I’m aware I’m entering what’s traditionally a male-dominated profession - but that’s not new to me as I was one of just two girls studying Design Engineering at New College in Bradford!

“After visiting Inspectas on work experience, I realised it was what I’d been looking for - interactive, because we’re constantly meeting people onsite, varied with the amount of travel and different places we visit, including schools, universities and social housing where asbestos has been removed, and there’s a clear career path ahead. Everyone is so friendly and I’m learning a lot every day that I shadow the team.”

Abbi, who joins Inspectas straight from studying law, psychology and criminology at New College in Bradford, is also keen to progress through key stages to become a qualified asbestos analyst surveyor. She said: “Inspectas has so much experience on the team.

“We’re learning on the job and being guided through all the stages of the asbestos clearance process. It is challenging but it’s such an important service - asbestos still exists inside some buildings but removal and its management is a specialist area I’m excited to be part of.”

Inspectas was formed in 2013 by asbestos management professionals Craig Candlish and Matthew Fahy. Today, the company has a portfolio of more than 150 clients in the education, healthcare, retail, construction and industrial sectors and relocated to bigger offices in Drighlington last year.

Director Matthew Fahy said: “Trainee analyst surveyors are the backbone of our industry and we know it’s historically been a challenging environment for women to work in.

“We are committed to giving equal opportunity to all our employees and want to contribute to the diversity and career prospects available within this sector. We’re delighted to welcome Lilly and Abbi to the team.

Their passion for our sector is a fantastic basis for us to build their knowledge through BOSH training and qualifications. We’re looking forward to watching them develop in this varied compliance learning environment.”