A female apprentice and mum-of-one rubbed shoulders with Labour Party bigwigs at a national energy conference in the House of Commons.

Lowis Marshall, 29, from Gillingham, was at the event alongside colleagues from Chatham-based Prestige Solar & Heating.

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint was among those to meet Lowis, who is studying plumbing and heating at MidKent College.

“She [Ms Flint] seemed pleasantly surprised that I was an apprentice in that particular field, but she said it was a positive thing and encouraged me to carry on.” said Lowis.

“She seemed very interested in my studies at MidKent College and I told her it was difficult, but that I was enjoying it.”

Nick Whatley, director of Prestige Solar and Heating, invited Lowis to the conference so she could view their profession from a different angle.

“A few years ago solar energy was very popular and lots of people were having panels installed on their homes, but now things have slowed down and one of the aims of the conference was to explore how we can get solar back on the agenda,” said Lowis.

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