Learner Success: Cochise Gonzales

We had a chat with Level 2 Carpentry apprentice Cochise Gonzales on site at David Wilson Homes in Tavistock. Cochise is completing his apprenticeship at successful carpentry firm Phil Deare Carpentry and is enjoying every minute!

“I’ve always preferred hands-on learning to being sat at a desk, so I decided to start an apprenticeship after I left school rather than go to college. I knew I wanted to do carpentry as I had done some woodwork before in Design and Technology at school and really enjoyed it.

“I started the apprenticeship at Phil Deare four months ago and have learnt so much already; it’s much easier to pick up new skills while you’re doing the job. The work is very varied from roofs to joists and stud work. It’s also great to get experience on major sites, such as David Wilson Homes.

“The work at Phil Deare Carpentry is very fast paced; I’ve worked on two roofs a week while being here. Since starting, I’m most proud of setting up a joist to support a first floor.

“I love what I do and am really pleased I chose an apprenticeship. The team at Phil Deare Carpentry is supportive and patient, and I also enjoy training at Skills Group as it allows me to practice the skills I’ve learnt during the week at work. I would like to continue onto my Level 3 apprenticeship after I’ve finished my Level 2.

“I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship if you would like to get into a trade. My advice to others deciding what they would like to do after finishing school, is to think about what subjects you enjoy and your hobbies and base your choice on this!”

Well done Cochise – you’re doing brilliantly!

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