Painting and Decorating Apprentice
What course are you studying?
I’m studying Painting and Decorating diploma and NVQ level 2 at Cardiff and Vale College, Barry campus.
Why did you choose to undertake a Painting and Decorating apprenticeship?
When I was young, I always wanted to be an air hostess. I went to college to study towards it, and even worked in an airport for a while, but I realised it wasn’t for me. Painting is something I’ve always enjoyed, I wanted to do it 10 years ago, but I fell pregnant, so I’ve put it off. I went into a full-time college painting course first, with a plan to work from the bottom up, but my tutor thought I was too advanced for the level 1 course and recommended taking on an apprenticeship and put me forward to Y Prentis.
What sites have you worked on during your apprenticeship?
So far, I’ve only worked on one site, an Interserve site at Castle Bingo, Nantgarw. It’s a full renovation and re-fit, following large floods in the area last year. Being on site has been a big eye opener. It’s very different to doing painting and decorating jobs at home. I thought the role would be all empty houses, but on this site I haven’t just been painting walls, I’ve had the chance to do wood and steel work too. It’s been a really great experience.
What contractors have you worked with?
I’ve been placed with Haines Painting and Decorating Ltd since the start of my apprenticeship. I’m gaining more and more experience with my hosts every day. I am so glad I was placed with Haines. I can be here there and everywhere. I couldn’t have asked for a better host, or a better mentor than my supervisor Steve. The whole Haines team have made me feel so welcome. Next week, I’m moving to a new site on Rover Way, Cardiff, which will be a factory fit. I’m looking forward to starting at a new site, there is a lot of steel work, so I’m excited to gain that experience.
What are you looking forward to in your career as a Painter and Decorator?
I’m hoping to get a role with a decorating company for a while once I complete my qualifications, and eventually branch out on my own. I would like to take on apprentices of my own one day, so that I can pass on all of the knowledge that I have learnt. I think we need more women in the construction industry. Older clients tend to prefer to have a woman come into their homes than men.
Would you recommend taking an apprenticeship to young people?
I’d recommend taking an apprenticeship 100%! It’s showing me my skills and abilities, and it sets me up for working in the industry. You learn so much more than you ever would in college, I’ve even taken things I’ve learnt on site back to my college tutors. I’m really glad my tutor pushed me in the direction of an apprenticeship. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be that you’re never too old to take an apprenticeship and you’re never too old to achieve your goals. I wish I had started 10 years ago!