Employer Focus: Chestnut Carpentry

Chestnut carpentry are in their 6th year of business and are rapidly expanding. “We cover a wide variety of carpentry, from small developments, one-off builds and restorations. We are a small, dedicated team who ensure quality in everything we do. That’s why we invest time, effort and money into bringing on apprentices and shaping them into great carpenters who produce high quality work.

We need to keep the trade going so therefore we have a responsibility to create the next generation of carpenters. We need to be training them and nurturing them so that the trade keeps going for years to come. For us, it’s also important to have a variety of different people and characters to keep the business fresh and forward-thinking.

We have now taken on two apprentices and both lads are doing fantastically well. They are growing and developing every day. We give them opportunities to take on more responsibly and trust them with more tasks, they react really well to this and it helps to motivate them.

Skills Group have been great. They communicate well with us and if there are any issues they are just a phone call away. The weekly college day also works well for us, knowing the apprentices are learning the technical skills means that when they are on-site they can put this into practise through their practical skills. The knowledge is fresh and at the front of their mind which means they learn quickly.

When taking on an apprentice we look for some key things; they must be punctual, have a good work ethic, show signs of dedication and most importantly have a good attitude. If they have these qualities, the skills and pace will follow naturally. We look forward to taking on more apprentices in the future!

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