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Apprentice joiner Tim White has continued developing his skills during the pandemic as he works towards establishing his future career.
National Apprenticeship Week 2021, from February 8th to 14th, is showcasing the positive impact of apprenticeships on communities, local businesses and regional economies.
The theme for this year is ‘build the future’. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, National Apprenticeship Week will also recognise how apprentices have helped employers adapt and build during a difficult year.
Tim, aged 18, is completing a Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery at Level 2 at The Sheffield College. He spends most of the week training in the workplace with Pennine Woodworking, in the Hope Valley, and a day a week attending college classes.
Tim said: “I love learning on the job and working towards a qualification. Being paid to learn a trade that I enjoy is a bonus. I like being in touch with other apprentices on college days and being able to talk about our different experiences.”
He explained: “I enjoyed joinery at school and had been able to help the builder and joiner who worked on an extension for my grandma. I enjoy working with my hands rather than sitting at a desk and I like making things, especially bespoke things. I like to see the appreciation people have when something is good quality and well made.”
Tim enjoys studying at college. He explained: “There are a good group of students on my course and the teachers are very helpful and supportive. It’s been strange during the pandemic doing the course online but it is going better than I thought it would as it means I am still learning the theory. It has been good to be able to carry on working and gaining more practical skills at work.”
During the pandemic, Tim has begun to build a workshop so that in future, he can do joinery jobs for friends and family. Tim’s ambition is to progress to the Level 3 qualification, continue developing his skills in the workplace and in future years set up his own business.
David Eades, Company Director, Pennine Woodworking, said: “Tim is our second apprentice. Our first apprentice is still with us, having finished his apprenticeship five years ago. He is now our Joinery Workshop Foreman. We have never advertised an apprenticeship position. When a young person approaches you, you can tell if they have the spark, the passion, and the enthusiasm. If they have these characteristics, then the chances are they are hard-working and willing to learn the skills of the trade.”
He explained: “Tim has the passion and enthusiasm and is willing to learn new skills. He is very much one of the team, as much as any other member of the team, and is involved in the sharing of ideas and problem solving. We believe, that if we look after the apprentice then the chances are, they will give back - which has proved to be right.”
David added: “Tim is becoming increasingly confident in his joinery work and shares his ideas and skills that he has learned at college. He also has excellent communicative skills and is pleasant and helpful with the customers and tradespeople that we have in the workshop, which is important.
“We believe in encouraging young people to develop skills, theory, and learning in a post-16 learning environment, alongside experiencing a real-life working experience. So, we, Pennine Woodworking, would not hesitate to have more apprentices through our doors, should they have those main characteristics - passion, enthusiasm and willingness to learn.”
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