Learners: Ben Hughes, Cameron Simpson, Josh Gildart
Qualification: Level 2, Site Joinery
Employer: Kaberry Construction

Heywood based firm Kaberry Construction is making a significant investment in its future skills through its support for the Apprenticeship programme, run in partnership with the Skills Company. Kaberry Construction is a leading regional contractor delivering building and civil engineering works to the North West since 1949. The company currently has three apprentices learning Site Joinery skills through the Skills Company.

Ben Hughes from Heywood in Rochdale attended Holy Family College, where he enjoyed practical subjects like design technology and woodwork. When he left school, Ben decided that he would prefer to train for a trade rather than study at college, and applied for a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Site Carpentry with Kaberry Construction Ben’s application was successful, and he started with Kaberry in summer 2016.

Ben attends the Skills Company’s Greater Manchester SkillCentre in Trafford Park for his off-the-job training.

Ben said: “I think the trainers at the SkillCentre have been really good. I’ve learned new skills like scribing and skirting that I haven’t done much in the workplace, and been able to put them into practice on the job. I think there is a good range of facilities at the SkillCentre, and they provide everything you need to get your qualification.”

A typical day at work for Ben would involve meeting at Kaberry Construction’s main depot and travelling to the current job. He usually works in a team of four and his work is constantly supervised by experienced and qualified tradespeople. The kind of work that Ben carries out includes cutting wood and materials for use in shelving and doors, and supporting other members of the team in their work.

Ben said: “Everything is going really well, and I’d like to progress on to my Level 3 when I’ve completed my Level 2, and make a successful career as a Site Joiner.”

Cameron Simpson is also undertaking a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Site Joinery with Kaberry.

Cameron said: “The training at the SkillCentre has made a very positive impact on my learning so far. The tutors have offered lots of help, advice and support during my block release training, and there are very good facilities for us to practice our skills.”

“I like the fact that every day at work is different and the variety of jobs means that you never get bored. The best thing about the Apprenticeship is the balance between practical training and learning the theory. It’s great that we get trained in both areas, and I think I’m progressing well in both theory and practical.”

“Once I’ve completed my Level 2, I’d like to think about moving on to Level 3, and eventually I’d like to be able to run my own business.”

Josh Gildart, also from Heywood has already completed his Level 2 in Site Joinery, and is now part way through his Level 3.

Josh said: “I’m really enjoying working with the tutors and assessors at the SkillCentre, and I feel like I’m learning new skills all the time. I’m shadowing an experienced joiner when I’m working on site, and I’m picking up really useful knowledge and skills from him.”

“I think the block release at the SkillCentre works very well, I value the one to one time that I get with my tutor, as it gives me time to ask questions and clarify anything I’m not clear about. I’d like to achieve my Gold CSCS card which will place me in good stead in the industry, and hopefully work for myself at some stage in the future, once I’ve gained more skills and experience.”

James Gray, Managing Director at Kaberry Construction said: “These three apprentices are progressing very well with the company. The combination of the practical skills they are learning in the workplace with the theory and off the job training they are getting from the Skills Company is giving them a very good grounding in the construction sector. The ongoing support that they receive from the Skills Company means that they are developing into real assets for Kaberry Construction and helping to ensure a strong skills base for the company’s future.”