Where are they now?

Danny Hodges

Danny was a Bricklaying apprentice with Y Prentis from October 2018 to February 2020. Throughout this time Danny worked with Morgan Sindall, CJ Construction and Jehu, on a range of different sites and won a prestigious industry award during his apprenticeship.

At age 18, Danny, a Melin Homes resident from Caldicot, was studying for his level one diploma in Bricklaying. After spending time labouring with a local company, he decided that bricklaying was the trade for him. A few months into his course, Y Prentis contacted the tutors at the college to seek a candidate for a bricklaying apprenticeship, Danny was recommended by his tutors and got the job.

Over his apprenticeship, Danny attended Coleg Gwent at their NASH Newport campus, Newport one day a week and achieved his Level 2 Diploma and NVQ in Bricklaying. Phillip Jones, college tutor, had this to say about Danny “He was a model student. He had good attendance and time keeping for his lessons. His theory work was always completed on time, and he asked questions on what he does not understand. He is polite and respectful towards staff and fellow learners.”

In the course of his apprenticeship, Danny was put forward for the 2019 Monmouthshire Business Awards and won in the Young Apprentice of the Year category. He said of the awards: “Winning the award feels like a personal achievement for me and it’s great to be rewarded for the hard work I’ve put into my apprenticeship.”

Since being with the scheme, Danny has fully embraced the shared-apprenticeship model, having been placed with a few of Y Prentis’ contractor partners as part of his apprenticeship. Spending time with CJ Construction at several of their sites in South Wales, as well as with Morgan Sindall at their project at Maes Ebbw Primary School, in Newport. During his placement with Morgan Sindall, Danny took part in a short film demonstrating the collaborative work between Morgan Sindall and Y Prentis. Mike Anstey of Morgan Sindall said of Danny’s time with the company: “He was able to engage very well with his work colleague's and all those he came in contact with him on site. His confidence and maturity was refreshing from someone his age, which reflected in the quality of work he produced.”

Danny’s final placement was with Jehu at their Candleston Homes development at Coed Glas, Abergavenny. Danny is now directly employed by DTM Brickwork, the subcontractor he worked with on this site. He’s looking forward to a bright future as a qualified bricklayer. He said: “I have really enjoyed my time with Y Prentis, I appreciate the opportunity I was given to start my career and look forward to a future in the industry.”

Reflecting on his time with Y Prentis, Danny said that the best part of his apprenticeship was “getting my name out there and making contacts, which will be a huge benefit to me now I’m fully qualified and earning more money. I’ve learnt a lot from other brickies’ during my apprenticeship. I find that everyone has their own techniques, so even though I’m using and improving the skills that I’ve learnt in college I’m also picking up new skills along the way.”

We asked Danny what he’d say to somebody interested in applying for an apprenticeship. He said: “it’s really worth doing. It’s all well and good learning techniques on paper, but you won’t learn everything without the hands-on experience. I’d say that bricklayers are crucial to the construction industry. Without us, there wouldn’t be any buildings at all!"


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