This is the place.. > Case Studies – John
This is the place where John learned his trade
John Coster, 51, originally from Bridgeton is a joiner within City Building’s Assisted Living Team. He began his apprenticeship in 2009 after a period of unemployment.
“Before I started as an apprentice, I was unemployed, but previously I’d been a black hackney taxi driver. My girlfriend was the one who told me about the adult apprentice scheme – she’d found out about it from a friend. I liked the sound of it as I fancied learning a new trade, so I phoned the Bridgeton job centre and had a good chat to the guy there, and the more I found out about it, the more interested I became.
When I started the apprenticeship I was the oldest one in my class, but I thought it was great for someone of my age who was unemployed to be able to learn a new skill and become a qualified tradesman.
At the very beginning I worked on bathroom and kitchen refits, taking out old ones out and putting new ones in. At this stage I’d go out with a skilled tradesman who would pass on his knowledge to me. I would do a few weeks on the job and then a few weeks at college where I could hone my skills. They crammed a four-year apprenticeship into two years, which was great. A particular inspiration to me was one of the instructors I had at the Queenslie training centre – he really put in the extra effort to help anyone who was struggling, he was fantastic.
Now that my apprenticeship is complete, I can lead on a job and work by myself. I now work within the assisted living section, we convert bathrooms for older people or people with disabilities, fitting things that make their lives easier, such as walk-in showers. It’s good to know I am doing something that makes a difference.
I love the fact that every day is different – I’m in a different house, doing a different job, meeting different people, and I enjoy being part of a team. I am very happy where I am – it has made me more confident, taught me different skills, and given me good experience.
If anyone is thinking about starting an apprenticeship, I’d say put everything you have got into it, the rewards are there if you work hard enough.”