Trainee joiner Katie Hughes has spoken about the value of on-the-job learning to mark this year’s National Apprenticeship Week.
Katie, from Newark, is seven months into her site joinery apprenticeship with construction company Lindum and is currently working on a building site in Grimsby.
She previously studied painting and decorating at college but said the experience she is getting through a practical apprenticeship is proving invaluable as she learns her craft.
Katie’s comments come as events are taking place across the country to mark National Apprenticeship Week, which runs until Sunday 9th February.
The theme this year is “Look Beyond” – and is hoping to encourage people to look beyond the outdated stereotypes surrounding apprenticeships and to celebrate the diversity of opportunity and value that they bring to the country today.
With this in mind, Katie (22) is urging more girls to consider a career in construction and is keen to stress that joinery is not just a “man’s job”.
“I am really enjoying my apprenticeship and I’m getting lots of hands-on experience and a lot of support,” she said.
“I always wanted to work in joinery and I know that it is sometimes seen as a ‘man’s job’ but there’s really no reason for that. I haven’t experienced any discrimination or any sexist attitudes among the people I’ve worked with.
“Working in construction is great and I would encourage girls to look at it as a career option too. There are not as many women on sites as there could be.
“I hope that in a few years from now, I will be fully qualified and working full time as a joiner for Lindum.”
Lindum currently has 25 apprentices on its books, including those studying for degree apprenticeships, and has won awards for its commitment to training and staff development.
During this week, employees will be attending a careers fair at Lincoln College and an apprenticeship conference at the University of Nottingham to extol the virtues of apprenticeships in construction.
Group training manager Sara Hobson said: “Apprenticeships are so important to us at Lindum. As a large construction company, we have both a specific need and a wider duty to help stem the growing skills shortage in our industry.
“Practical trades underpin the work we do here and the apprenticeship schemes help to provide hands-on experience which brings classroom study to life.
“In addition, the new degree apprenticeships help to develop the talent in the technical and professional roles.”
National Apprenticeship Week, now in its 13th year, is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of apprenticeships.
Keith Smith, Director, Apprenticeships Group, ESFA said: “There is much to celebrate in apprenticeships and National Apprenticeship Week gives the whole apprenticeships community opportunity to showcase the many brilliant apprenticeships available in England today.
“It is fantastic to see so many events taking place across England I am enthused to be invited to such a variety of events this Week. There’s also lots happening across social media! Let’s all get behind apprenticeships and celebrate the opportunities apprenticeships present to fire up careers.”