A BUSINESSWOMAN has told how she swapped a high-flying hospitality and admin career to fix boilers instead.

Former personal assistant Julie McGowan grew tired of working at desks, despite glamorous jobs at football clubs and in top solicitors' offices.

She decided to throw it all in and go in a completely opposite direction.

Soon the former legal assistant found a fast-track course in gas engineering and fell in love with the job.

Now she is the only female in town servicing boilers - and hopes to blaze a trail for girls everywhere.

Julie, aged 46, from Leperstone Avenue, said: "I get some funny looks when I am in my van!

"I absolutely love my job.

"It throws people off guard.

"I get a great reaction from people when I go to their houses.

"I think though most people expect to see a female gas engineer who is a bit more of a tomboy.

"Sometimes people offer to give me a hand carrying stuff, but they soon see I can manage.

"I just wanted a complete change - I had been working in hospitality, admin and as a personal assistant for so long.

"I wanted a new challenge and signed up for a gas engineering fast track course.

"Suddenly I went from an office to a course with just me and 15 other guys.

"I love all the theory and it is very technical."

Julie, who is married to husband David, a joiner, was always keen on projects in the house.

She added: "I have always loved DIY and I am always working on stuff in the house."

After finishing her intensive training and working with gas engineering firms, Julie hit on the idea of setting up her own business and going it alone and is thriving with her Gas with CLass set-up.

She said: "I realised I was the only female in Inverclyde servicing gas boilers and it is something I could build on.

"A lot of people, particularly the elderly seem keen.

"I think I bring something different.

"I love looking after customers, solving problems and keeping them safe."

Before getting a trade Julie worked in several office roles, including legal services with Digby Jones, as well as hospitality with both Rangers and Celtic.

She also was involved in property management as well.

Originally from Greenock, she had moved to Glasgow and was all set on emigrating before she met her husband David, a joiner, and moved back to Inverclyde, settling in Kilmacolm.

She added: "I think more girls leaving school and women should consider a skill or a trade.

"It should be encouraged more.

"When I left school I went to work in a bank, there didn't seem any options for anything else.

"I hope to build my business and give another girl a chance as an apprentice."