Introducing our newest Apprentice, Ben

I have always been interested in doing stuff rather than sitting down. At first, I wanted to be an Engineer but I hated my Physics A’ Level. When Covid happened, I left school and started work as a Labourer on a building site with a different contractor. It gave me the chance to try some different trades and I found I enjoyed the carpentry.

One of the things that attracted me to carpentry is that the Site Carpenter does a wide range of jobs from building the frame of a house to hanging doors and fitting cupboards and skirting. I hadn’t done anything with wood until I started on the site a year ago.

I started at Otley College 4 weeks ago at the same time I became an Apprentice with Stowe. I do college one day a week learning theory in the mornings and then in the workshop learning the skills. On the other 4 days of the week, I am on-site with Stowe. It’s a two-year course to start with which leads to a Level 3 in Carpentry. I can then go on to do a Level 4 in Joinery and Level 5 which will give me site management qualifications. Besides carpentry skills, we study site safety, employment practices, and other things we need to know.

Learning on the job is the most helpful part of the apprenticeship. Working on-site with Alan teaching me all the insider techniques. He has been doing it for years and knows all the tricks to make the job go well.

I see myself carrying on here, working as a proper Carpenter. I’d like to work on bigger projects like bridges as well as houses.