What made you decide to take an apprenticeship in Drylining?
I originally did a multi-skills course in college, and I enjoyed plastering the most. I took up an apprenticeship in plastering, but unfortunately, the company was unable to fulfil the apprenticeship and I left without a lot of experience. I was with Job Centre for three months, looking for my next steps, when I secured a two-week drylining work experience placement with Richard Kemble Contracts on the Interserve site at Torfaen Learning Zone. When I finished my work placement, I was offered a full-time apprenticeship, with Y Prentis’ host partner Richard Kemble Contracts. Drylining is great because I still get to use my plastering skills and learn taping and joining techniques.
What have been the best parts of your apprenticeship?
The best part of my apprenticeship is really learning my trade. Being placed with Shaun from Richard Kemble Contracts has been great, as he teaches me a lot every day, and we get on really well. The apprenticeship is also changing my lifestyle: I’ve enjoyed getting back into a routine; it gives me a reason to get up in the morning and I’ll be able to have some independence and not rely on other people.
What type of sites have you worked on so far?
Through my previous apprenticeship, I only did domestic jobs within people’s homes. With Y Prentis, I’ve worked on a couple of sites – they’ve been massive in comparison. My first site at Torfaen Learning Zone was great. I had the chance to get to know the site and the job through my work experience placement, so once I started my apprenticeship, I knew it well. I’m now working at a Bouygues site at Cardiff University Innovation Centre. This has been my favourite site so far because it’s really hands on and I’m getting more practical experience. I really enjoy the fact that I get to work on different types of sites, so it doesn’t get boring.
What does the future hold for your career?
In five years’ time I’d like to be fully qualified and working as a dryliner to a really high standard, with Richard Kemble Contracts. My time on site has been amazing. I’ve been excited to wake up and go to site every day. I’d tell young people considering an apprenticeship to go for it! Work experience and apprenticeships are a great opportunity as employers will look out for experience on your CV and it shows you’re dedicated and will show up.