Bradley Evans, Level 3 Bricklaying

I’m a third generation carpenter within my family, both my granddad’s and my dad are in the trade so it’s nice to carry on the tradition. I started working with wood at a young age and really enjoyed it so once I’d finished school I knew this was what I wanted to do.

I started on a Study Programme, then completed my Level 2 apprenticeship and now I’m working towards my Level 3 qualification. The standard keeps rising but because I practice the trade every day it doesn’t feel difficult.

I have a really varied job, we work on all sorts of different projects – no day is ever the same! I like that as I am experiencing not only different types of tasks but also different environments. My employer Matt at Chestnut Carpentry has been great. He is so supportive and takes the time to show me how to do tasks well. I have settled in well within the team and my confidence has grown massively since I started my Level 2 apprenticeship.

I can’t believe I’m working my way up within the company at the same time as completing my qualifications. Once I’m qualified I may even have to mentor new apprentices which would be great as I will know what they’re going through so I’ll be able to help them through the process.

I’m focusing on completing my Level 3 apprenticeship but in the future I’d like to work my way up within Chestnut Carpentry which I know I will be able to do. My advice to anyone wanting to do an apprenticeship is to pick something you love. You spend a lot of time at work so make sure you enjoy what you do.

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