What attracted you to a career in carpentry?
I always wanted to be a professional rugby player, but one too many head injuries stopped me. I had been working as a labourer with carpenters for a few years and my dad is a carpenter too, so I thought I’d follow in his footsteps. Having a trade will mean I’ll always have work. Carpenters work really hard – we’re the first on site and always the last to leave.
Why have you chosen to take an apprenticeship?
I’ve been in construction for a long time, so I knew working and learning at the same time, whilst getting paid, was the best option for me. My tutor told me about Y Prentis and said that it would be a great opportunity for me. They came into college one day to interview for carpentry apprentices and I got the placement! I like learning on the job and having college on a Wednesday – it splits up the week nicely.
How have you spent your time during your apprenticeship?
I’ve been on site four days a week with Jehu on a Candleston Homes housing development, Coed Glas, in Abergavenny. I’m studying for my NVQ and Diploma Level 2 in site carpentry at Coleg Gwent’s Newport campus one day a week, and I’m hoping that once I complete, I will be able to stay on to do my Level 3.
What has been the best part of your apprenticeship?
Working with the boys I’ve been placed with on site. We even went on a Christmas night out together, which was a great laugh! I’ve learnt a lot being on the apprenticeship too, such as how to multi task and improve my hand and communication skills.
How will your apprenticeship change your future?
It’s helping me manage my money. Being fully qualified will mean I can afford my own house and enjoy life more. I travel home to Ammanford a lot, so balancing work and life on an apprentice wage has been hard at times. I’m looking forward to being able to travel with my work, and one day would like to take my new skills with me to Canada – I try to never waste an opportunity!
What would you say to somebody thinking about an apprenticeship?
I’d tell anyone who is considering an apprenticeship to go for it! It’s a great opportunity and gives you a better experience than going to college for three years just to come out and decide that site life isn’t for you.