Nathan was an apprentice with us from June 2016 until July 2018, and during the two years he worked on a number of sites with Andrew Scott, Jistcort, SAMS Drylining, ISG and Willmott Dixon. He worked on some high-profile developments, including the development of Ronald McDonald House; a purpose-built House which provides free accommodation to families for children being treated at Noah’s Arch Children’s Hospital, and developments on behalf of the University of South Wales.
Throughout his apprenticeship, Nathan was recognised for his achievements by being awarded the Green Card on two occasions with Willmott Dixon for demonstrating a high level of commitment towards health and safety. He also won the Impact Achiever Award at the Y Prentis Apprenticeship Awards in 2017 and was part of the winning team at Community Housing Cymru’s Welsh Apprentice Challenge in 2016.
Nathan said: “My apprenticeship has given me the necessary skills to secure full-time work, which I feel I would have struggled to do without having chosen the apprenticeship route. It has taught me that employers have a certain level of expectation from you, so you need to go out there and go above and beyond to make a good impression. I don’t think I would have developed a good work ethic and the right mentality that is expected of you without this experience.”
“I really like how the shared apprenticeship model works. You get to work with different contractors, make new contacts and learn from different individuals. It was great to see the different ways companies do things. You soon realise that one way of working doesn’t always work well for another contractor, so you learn to be flexible to suit different employer’s needs.”
Nathan successfully completed his apprenticeship after gaining his NVQ Level 3 in July 2018 and secured a full-time job with SAMS Drylining. After a few months of working with SAMS Drylining, he was offered the opportunity to become a tutor at Coleg Y Cymoedd.
Terrence Watkins, Plastering Tutor at Coleg Y Cymoedd, said: “My colleague Laurence and I put Nathan forward to take on this opportunity as he’s very switched on and knowledgeable about the subject. He’s very mature for his age and always goes above and beyond in everything he does. It’s great to see how eager he is and it’s really refreshing to have him as part of our team.”
As well as tutoring full time, Nathan maintains a great relationship with SAMS Drylining. They were really supportive of him taking up this opportunity and he continues to work for them during his free time.
Nathan said: “If anybody was thinking of doing an apprenticeship, I’d say go for it! I think they’re the way forward. You get to be out on site and learn what you need to learn. There’s a huge difference in the ability of those who do an apprenticeship and those who are studying full-time. You learn so much from being on site and get to put what you learn into action, improving your speed, accuracy and all-round skill set.”
Dafydd Langley-Noel, Assistant Programme Manager at Y Prentis, said: “I first met Nathan in 2016 when he was put forward by his college tutor as an exceptional learner and a student that would be deserving of an apprenticeship. Following an interview, my colleague and I selected Nathan to start an apprenticeship in plastering. Nathan’s natural ability as a plasterer shone through once placed on site, as did his outstanding work ethic.
“Nathan was placed on various sites during his time with us and was offered employment with numerous subcontractors but declined all offers to focus on his learning and obtaining his qualifications. We’re all incredibly proud of Nathan’s most recent achievement of becoming a tutor and wish him success in the next stage of his career.”