Carer who refused Covid jab announces surprising career change
A care worker who lost her job in the autumn over her refusal to get a mandatory Covid jab has announced a surprising career change. Louise Akester, 36, from Hull, lost her care home job in November 2021 when it became a requirement for care staff in England to be double jabbed, unless exempt, reports Hull Live. On Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed to scrap mandatory jabs for health and social care staff, subject to a consultation.
Louise said she was “over the moon” at the prospect of mandatory jabs being scrapped, but was still not inclined to return to social care. In an interview on ITV’s This Morning she revealed she was looking at becoming a truck driver.
Care worker Louise Akester’s tears after final shift before Covid vaccine deadline (Image: Hull Live/Louise Akester)
Louise explained how she decided on becoming a truck driver. “There was a guy who put a post on the app called Nextdoor,” she said.
“He works for a company that offers free LGV training to people either unemployed six months or longer, or recently made redundant. “And when I saw it, I thought, you know what, I’m going to get in touch with this guy and I’m going to see what this is about.”
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After seeing the post last month, she has since passed a medical and applied to the DVLA for a provisional HGV licence. The course to get a full HGV licence could take “up to six months”.
Her family has a history of working as truck drivers. “My dad has always been a trucker and when I was little, you know, I’d go and sit in his truck and thought it was fantastic,” she said.
“I’m just glad I’ve been given this opportunity to try it out,” said Louise Akester of the truck driving course she plans to take. (Image: Katie Pugh)
“It’s something I’ve always liked. Being a woman, you get put off and think, well I don’t think I’d find a job in it, it’s not a woman’s job, sort of thing.
“So I never really thought any more of it and then found the job in care and fell in love with that and I thought, this is me for life. “I believe everything happens for a reason. Perhaps I saw that advert for a reason and this was my chance to have a go at something that I’ve always been keen on.
“What have I got to lose?” The course the former care worker plans to take is at least partly funded by the National Lottery. Her partner is also a truck driver.
“I’m definitely going to focus more on this now,” said Louise. “Obviously, it’s nice to know that there is that option to go back to care, if I discover that the trucking side isn’t for me.” Louise felt “undervalued” in her carer job when the mandatory vaccinations requirement was brought in and when she lost her job.
“I think it’s a bit more of a safe and secure one where hopefully, they wouldn’t plan on bringing in mandatory vaccinations,” she said of being a trucker.
“I’m just glad I’ve been given this opportunity to try it out.”
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