Success Stories: Rhys Crago, Level 2 Bricklaying

“I was always driven to enter the construction industry. My family works in the sector and so I’ve grown up around that environment; in school holidays I’d be helping out on sites and my family even appeared on Homes Under the Hammer! The biggest mistake people make about construction is thinking it’s an easy job – it’s actually very hard work! However your effort definitely pays off.”

We had a chat with Rhys on site at Barratt Homes to find out more about his Bricklaying apprenticeship and his experience working for one of the South West’s leading independent construction firms, MC Builders.

“My apprenticeship is very varied – I’ve been involved in digging and laying work, building walls, taking stone cladding off houses and re-setting, and even landscaping gardens. MC Builders offers the full range of building services which means I get lots of varied experience which will help me to progress through the industry.

“There are so many jobs in the Construction industry at the moment, so it’s a really exciting time to work in the sector. The salary is also another benefit of doing an apprenticeship – it’s nice to be more independent and start saving up for my own house.

“I’m looking forward to achieving my qualification. Both the teams at MC Builders and Skills Group have been really supportive throughout the apprenticeship and, in the future, I’d like to stay at MC Builders and progress onto a Level 3 apprenticeship. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even run my own construction company!”

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School