This is the place.. > Case Studies – Stephen
This is the place where Stephen learned his trade.
Stephen Welsh, 25, from Rutherglen is a joiner with City Building’s Housing Association Repairs & Maintenance Team. Stephen began his 4-year apprenticeship aged 18.
“My grandad was a joiner and when I was younger I used to help him, so I’d always wanted to follow in his footsteps. I had started looking for a joinery apprenticeship when I left school but I couldn’t find any. So I got a job at WH Malcolm as a grounds worker, where I mainly helped lay foundations for new build houses. After a year of working there I decided to try again.
Because I was living in South Lanarkshire, I didn’t know if I’d be eligible for the City Building apprenticeship as it was in Glasgow, but because my friend had got onto the same apprenticeship the year before me, I decided to give it a go and I got accepted.
At the beginning I was working on a new build school, putting in partitions and boxing things in. I then moved onto fitting doors, facings and skirtings. I had a few weeks of shadowing a tradesman before they built up enough trust to let me start helping. For the first two years I also went to college for part of the time.
I’ve been fully qualified for 3 years now and work on the maintenance team for Housing Association Clients, going round houses doing various jobs like repairing doors and kitchens, and fitting new floors and ceilings. I love the fact that it’s not repetitive – there are different types of work every day.
After two years of being on temporary contracts, I’ve now got a full time job at City Building, which gives me stability and that’s really important to me. It’s great to know that as long as I don’t do anything stupid, I have a job!
I’d like to stay on the tools for a while yet, but hopefully in the future I’ll go on and do advanced training in construction management and complete an HND. This would allow me to become a site manager where rather than doing so much hands-on work I’d be supervising, taking control of the jobs and allocating jobs to others.
The apprenticeship is the best thing I have ever done. If anyone is considering starting one, I’d say go for it, especially at City Building. The training is first class and as well as learning your own trade, it gives you an insight into other trades which is really useful.
My friend had started the same apprenticeship the year before me. Because I was living in South Lanarkshire, I didn’t know if I’d be eligible for the City Building apprenticeship as it was in Glasgow, but because my friend had got onto the apprenticeship I decided to give it a go.”