Ben Fowler, Level 2 Carpentry

“I would 100% recommend the apprenticeship route. I’m gaining valuable skills and I’m building a really exciting, varied career which I love to do every day. I know once I’m qualified I’ll be confident in producing really high quality work and be able to earn a really good wage.”

Ben started his Carpentry Apprenticeship after completing his A Levels and commencing a full time job which he didn’t like;
“After working in a factory and experiencing working life, I knew I wanted more. I wanted a skill, but I also wanted to work. You could never learn as many skills as you do on-the-job training so that’s what made me decide to go down the apprenticeship route.

“I used to do some DIY wood work around my family farm and knew this was something I enjoyed so this was my starting point. I’m a very driven person, so I did some research into carpentry apprenticeships and got in touch with Phil Deare Carpentry off my own back. He really reacted to this and gave me a trail, from there my career path has taken off!

“I am so lucky to have the support I do. My employer and Skills Group have been amazing at mentoring me through. At work, we even have a WhatsApp group for the apprentices so we can share our experiences and talk to each other. Skills Group have been great and I love going into college to learn the skills I need to practise at work.

“I work on big new build sites involving a whole range of carpentry projects – no day is ever the same!”

Phil Deare, Ben’s employer said, “Ben is the perfect example of a great apprentice. His drive and his high standard of work is second to none. He’s ambitious and hardworking and has a great attitude to work. You couldn’t ask for more from an apprentice. He will go far within our business.”

Kim, Operations Manager said, “I work closely with Ben and I am always astonished at how good he is. He uses his own initiative, he’s professional and works well with the team and his work is beyond that of an apprentice. We’re all so proud of him.”

Ben says, “After I am qualified I know I’ll be on really decent money and be confident in the work I’m producing. I am looking forward to becoming a masterful carpenter! My advice to other young people looking into apprenticeships is, you need to have a good mind-set, good attitude and always try hard. If you aim high, the sky really is the limit!”

Pictured from left to right: Phil Deare – Owner of Phil Dear Carpentry, Ben Fowler – Carpentry Apprentice, Dave – Contracts Manager, Kim, Operations Manager.

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