It took me a while to get into the construction sector, as I had previously worked in the sport, legal, insurance and hospital industries in various roles. But when I saw my dad and the work he did as a painter and decorator, I decided to follow in his footsteps.

I wanted to learn a practical trade with lots of useful skills, and I also thought that some of the business and administration skills that I already had from my other jobs would come in useful at some point.

Starting at the foundations

I really wanted to do an apprenticeship as I believe it’s the starting point to getting to a job that you’ll love, so with that in mind I started my apprenticeship as an Apprentice Painter & Decorator in October 2005. I really enjoyed my time learning the skills I would need as a Painter & Decorator and quickly got my NVQ at Level 2 and 3 and my Diploma in Construction at Levels 2 and 3.

After I finished my advanced Apprenticeship, I decided that I wanted to continue studying and learn some more, and so I went onto complete a BTEC ONC and HNC in Construction.

Things don’t always go smoothly

After I completed my training, it wasn’t plain sailing. The company that had supported me with my training and development went into liquidation and had to close down, which meant that I was without a job. But with the practical skills I had learnt, plus the administration skills that I had previously, I knew that I would be a great asset to another company.

I’ve been at Lindum Group Ltd, a construction company that includes house building, plant, joinery and maintenance, since 2012, and in January 2013 I was offered the role of Painting and Decorating Manager. This is the job that I’ve always wanted.

Using my skills 

There’s a lot of variety in my job, and I get to work both in the office and out on site, which is great. I get to meet the different clients we’ll be working for, price up the work that needs to be done and attend the pre-start meetings before the project begins. I’m also managing a team of painters, and some sub-contractors as well, which is great for developing leadership skills.

I absolutely love my job, and doing an apprenticeship was the exact grounding that I needed in order to get where I am today, so I would highly recommend doing an apprenticeship to anyone thinking that construction might be the right career path for them.