I love my work as a painter and decorator but am also passionate about helping and encouraging young people find out more about careers and take up apprenticeships in the construction industry.
Life in the industry
After qualifying as a painter and decorator I worked as a self-employed sole trader, employing one Apprentice. One of the advantages of the construction industry is the fact that you can be your own boss and this enables me to mix the work I enjoy with my passion for passing on my experience to young people.
It is hard work though juggling ‘quotes’ for new work, buying relevant materials, doing the job to a high quality standard whilst training and generally keeping an eye on my current apprentice, Becks - although she does make my coffee! And then the evenings of course are for accounts!
Over the years I have had a number of Apprentices working with me and have been delighted to offer several work experience placements to enable people to have a real-life experience of life as a painter and decorator. Even if they decide it is not for them, at least they have been able to make an informed choice.
Teaching a new generation
I am always keen to volunteer as a Construction Ambassador and last term visited Campion and Guilsborough Schools in Northamptonshire with Becks, sharing our experiences in the trade with young people who were considering their options and finding out how to become an Apprentice in the construction industry.
The main activity was ‘mock interviews’ which I found to be a very positive group activity. After the session the students involved told me that they felt this exercise had been fun and informative. They felt that they were better informed about the construction industry and far more confident about their interview techniques. It was a privilege to be involved.
Becks and I am really looking forward to working with ‘Catch 22’, a social business providing services that help people in tough situations to turn their life round. I will be delivering training in painting & decorating at a house they have.
I also feel privileged to have received a special contributions award from Connexions Northamptonshire for the support I have given to young people in education and challenging work related learning.
What more could I want? I have my own Company, do a job I enjoy, can pass on my passion for the industry to others and obtain awards along the way!