With the latest arrivals on-site and starting to learn their trades, there are now seven apprentices working on the Wornington Green redevelopment as part of the joint initiative between Catalyst Gateway and the contractor, Ardmore. So are the new apprentices finding their feet and what does the scheme mean to them? Let’s find out…
Rory already had some informal painting and decorating experience when he applied for an apprenticeship in the same trade. Although it’s only been a short time, he’s enjoying the experience and is looking forward to learning more over the next couple of years. “With the first building nearing completion, painting and decorating is one of the busiest trades on-site at the moment, and as result I’m learning quickly,” he says. “I don’t think too far ahead to my plans when I qualify from this apprenticeship, but so far it’s going really well.”
Conor is approaching the end of his apprenticeship and will shortly be a fully qualified electrician after three-and a- half years of learning the trade. He applied to become an apprentice after being told about the scheme by his Dad, who works for Ardmore although not at Wornington Green. “It’s something I’ve enjoyed and I’ve learned a lot,” he says. “I’m hoping to be kept on when I do qualify in a few weeks’ time – the guys I’ve worked with say they need qualified electricians, so hopefully there’s a job here for me.”
After applying at Wornington Green and being accepted onto a carpentryapprenticeship, Mohammed is due to startwork on-site as soon as he receives his Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. “I had a couple of choices when it came to what trade I wanted to train into, but in the end I went for carpentry,” he says. “I just think I’ll prefer working with wood and will be better at this than some of the other trades. I’m really looking forward to getting onto the site to learn the necessary skills and get qualified.”
Like Rory and Mohamed, Kufi was one of three people chosen from a six-strong on-site trial period and is now undertaking an apprenticeship in painting and decorating. “It’s alright so far, I’m enjoying it,” he says. “I grew up around here so it’s good to be learning a trade while at the same time working on something that’s benefitting the community. It’s good to know that I’ve got two years of working hard to get my NVQ, after which I’ll be fully trained and able to put my skills to use.”
It was Catalyst Gateway that first suggested to Mohamed that he should try and secure one of the apprenticeships available at Wornington Green. After applying and passing the two-week on-site trial period, he’s now learning to become a fully qualified painter and decorator a process that will take two years. “Three out of six on the trial were offered apprenticeships,” he says, “which put the pressure on a bit but I’m so glad I was chosen. I’m enjoying it so far and am really looking forward to learning more about painting and decorating.”
Jack, who grew up in Lionel House, first started working on-site in September 2012 when he began a plumbing apprenticeship. Now, a year in with two more years to go, he’s enjoying it more than he expected, finding it especially useful that the scheme allows him to work with a number of different people. “It’s only by working with different people that you find out different and better ways of doing things, and I’ve found it particularly useful to learn from a number of people,” he says.
After originally starting as a labourer, Jalen saw first-hand the work that was going on and decided that an apprenticeship was the right path for him. Like Jack, he’s now twelve months into a three-year plumbing apprenticeship and building up an already impressive range of skills. “Each day is different,” he says, “and I’m learning so much. It’s not just domestic plumbing I’m covering, but drainage, dry risers, all kinds of different skills and parts of the job. It’s always changing, always interesting and something that I’m really enjoying.”