Matthew Healan joined us in August 2021, as a Carpentry Apprentice with our #YprentisHosts Cartrefi Ltd on a project for Newydd Housing Association, turning the Barry Windsor Hotel into flats. Matthew is from Cardiff and is currently attending Cardiff and Vale College and completing his Level 2 diploma, while completing his NVQ apprenticeship with Y Prentis.
Why did you choose a career in carpentry?
I have always had a passion for working with my hands and building things since I was young and decided to give it a go and enjoyed what I had learnt. I believe that carpentry is the one for me as I have family members who are carpenters and felt that I had familiarity with the trade.
Why did you choose to study an apprenticeship?
I thought it would be the best option for me at the time because it would allow me to attain my qualifications and training cards as well as help me get on to site where I could begin my journey as a carpentry apprentice.
What qualification are you working towards?
I am currently working towards a Level 2 Carpentry qualification at Cardiff and Vale College in Barry and hope to continue on to gain my level 3 next year.
How will this apprenticeship change your future? How will it help to set you up for the future?
I feel an apprenticeship will help me make industry contacts which will enable me to gain lots of experience and work with other contactors. Once I have gained enough site experience and knowledge, I might potentially set up my own business.
What has been your favourite thing about your apprenticeship so far?
I would have to say that my favourite part of my apprenticeship is being on-site and learning new things. I like to install kitchen cabinets, doors, staircases. Overall, I most enjoy to add all of the finishing touches required, as I like to make things look good and completed.
How do you find balancing your apprenticeship with college and your personal life?
I have no issues with it personally, as I feel that the college and tutors give me the time I need, knowing that I am still onsite working; and my site manager is respectful of my college commitments as well. Y Prentis have been amazing with all of the support they have provided me with throughout my journey and also the new apprenticeship coordinator has been there for me every time I have needed assistance.
What are you most looking forward to in your career as a carpenter?
I think I am most looking forward to working more independently and working off my own back
What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?
I would advise anyone looking to take up an apprenticeship to get into it as soon as you can – the earlier the better. I have no regrets with taking up an apprenticeship as I feel 100% happy in my placement and college course.
What contractors have you worked with during your apprenticeship so far?
I have worked with many different tradesmen: dryliners, labourers and bricklayers. I am currently placed with Cartrefi Limited and do a lot of work shadowing a qualified carpenter, which has allowed me to pick up on lots of different trade skills.
Why do you think Carpenters are important to the construction industry?
Our main materials are renewable, and I believe that there will always be a growing demand for carpenters as there are lots of new building projects going on in Wales and things will always need to be fixed.