I work for Wynne Construction as an Apprentice Joiner, and I’m currently in the second year of my apprenticeship. Wynne Construction is one of the leading construction companies in North Wales and the North West of England and a contractor on the North Wales Construction Framework.
From an early age, I enjoyed helping out with DIY projects at home and knew that I wanted to work in joinery.
What does your role involve?
I’m an apprentice joiner and during my first year, I was able to work on the largest scheme that Wynne Construction has completed to date – a new Sixth form hub in the region. The experience I gained on this project was invaluable as I could put into practice everything I had learnt from my Building Craft Foundation course at college.
The work is varied and really interesting, and I get the opportunity to work with the different subcontractors as well as with our team of joiners.
You’ll find that joiners are one of the trades who tend to spend the longest amount of time on any one project.
What do you like about your job?
The job that joiners do is very hands on and physical, but it’s also mentally challenging. I’m a perfectionist so I do like things to be 100% accurate and right. This does tend to help with my job, providing finishing touches to rooms in terms of doors, frames and skirting.
You’ll find that joiners are one of the trades who tend to spend the longest amount of time on any one project. That can be an advantage as we get to see schemes develop and progress over a number of weeks and we’re usually there at the completion of the project which is very satisfying.
What's your working day normally like?
At the moment I’m travelling over 40 miles to site with the team. I get picked up at 7am so it’s an early start. Work is always busy and interesting when there is something new. There is repetitive work particularly on the large school projects, but we are given a variety of work to do by our site manager who is qualified joiner and a great mentor for me.
There’s a great balance of independence and teamwork on the Wynne Construction sites and I still attend college one day per week so it’s good to catch up with my friends and share our experiences. During the working day, we have a morning and lunch break and usually leave site around 4pm.
What skills do you need in your job?
I think having an eye for detail and the need to be accurate is an important skill for a joiner. You also need to be organised with your tools and have the right equipment on hand. The fact that I did pass my GCSE in maths and design/technology has really helped with my theory and the planning of work and studying the drawings.
Communication skills are also important in terms of listening and asking questions as making mistakes could be costly and impact the progress of the project.
How did you get into construction?
From an early age, I enjoyed helping out with DIY projects at home and knew that I wanted to work in joinery. My hobbies include motorsport and being good with my hands does help in preparing the car for race meetings. I completed my Building Craft Foundation course prior to starting my apprenticeship, so that has helped as well.
Tell us about something you're really proud of in your career so far.
I’m really proud of gaining my apprenticeship with Wynne Construction as they are reputable company in North Wales and apprenticeships can be difficult to find. The job has improved my self-confidence and given me the opportunity to pass my driving test and buy my first car!
Working on the Deeside Sixth project, I was really pleased with my work and skills involved to complete the jobs on time. I made few errors and received praise from my site manager for my hard work.
How do you see your career progressing and what advice would you give someone thinking about a career in construction?
I’m sure I’ll have a future in construction and will either be working in joinery or possibly in site management. A number of former apprentices with Wynne Construction are now site managers in their 20s, so I know that’s a possibility if I work hard and prove myself. The company are really supportive of training and development and do encourage our progress.
I’d suggest doing the Building Craft Foundation course first to see which trade in construction you like the most and then plan to do it! Also, work placements are a great opportunity to gain site experience so would recommend doing a placement if you can.