Becoming a carpenter is a good move to make as it offers great job prospects. Once you qualify you have many options as to how you work, you can set up a self employed business on your own or you can work for a company and then there’s also the option of contract work too.
Carpenters are in high demand because there just aren’t enough of them. Remember that it’s not just here in the UK who needs carpenters they are needed all over the world in countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand for example. So once you qualify you can work anywhere in the world and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your skills are very much required.
Apprenticeships are best suited for those who are just out of school, where you’ll be trained up by an expert at their trade who will be your boss for the 2 to 4 years it is going to take before you become fully qualified. Your boss will train you up so that you will meet with the industry recognised standards that are required to enter into the carpentry industry. You’ll be taught all the practical skills that will be needed when you enter the workplace as a carpenter.
It’s so important that you really appreciate this time and use your time wisely, not everyone is lucky enough to be accepted on an apprenticeship scheme with all the opportunities that comes with it. Remember, your boss is an expert at their trade with many years worth of knowledge and skills that have been picked up over the years. They are passing down all their knowledge and skills to you, so make sure you don’t waste this time, it really could make a difference to your future career as a carpenter.
Also remember as you’re out and about with your new boss you’ll be meeting with suppliers, construction workers and tradesmen who in the future could potentially help you greatly with your own carpentry business. Not everyone training to become a carpenter will meet and greet people like this, so this is another bonus to you and your future.
Your apprenticeship is split between practical and theory, the theory will take place at your local college or training centre and the practical will all take place when you’re out with your new boss completing jobs.
Apprenticeships usually take around 2 and 4 years to complete.
You’ll earn as you learn!
Apprentices earn money as their learning too. You’ll be entitled to at least the minimum wage which currently stands at £2.73 an hour. This is what you’ll earn if you’re between 16 and 18 and also for those aged 19 and over and are currently in their first year of training. What you’ll earn above these figures is largely determined by the person training you up and how much they usually give to apprentices.
You will be paid for the hours you work (at least 30 hours) for an apprentice and also training that is part of your apprenticeship this training is usually once a week.
You’re entitled to holidays too!
An apprentice is entitled to holidays they have at least 20 paid holiday days each year and also any bank holidays.
How to get on an apprenticeship scheme?
You don’t require any formal qualifications to get on an apprenticeship scheme but a must have is a determination to want to succeed and do well, remember not everyone will ever get this chance and you really must want to try your hardest to succeed in your training to become a carpenter.
There are age limits for apprenticeship schemes, you should ideally be between the ages of 16 and 24 anything over this and you may find yourself struggling to be accepted. There’s just such a limited number of spaces available each year for apprenticeships and competition is just so fierce that everyone wanting to enter a trade and their just out of school usually jumps at the chance of getting on an apprenticeship scheme. Another must is normal colour vision.
So like I say competition is fierce but don’t get too disheartened, it may be a struggle but is certainly isn’t impossible. Try ringing up a few of your local carpenters or ones a little further afield if you don’t mind travelling and ask them if they are taking on any apprentices and if not, you never know, they might know of another carpenter who s taking on. It’s got to be worth a go.
What can I do if I’m not accepted?
Don’t be too disheartened if it turns out you just cannot no matter how hard you’ve tried to get on an apprenticeship scheme, like I say it is very fierce out there with so many people trying and such a low number of spaces available each year. Becoming an apprentice isn’t the only way into the carpentry industry there are many more options including training centres and also your local college will have carpentry courses available too. Training centres are found all over the UK so there is definitely going to be one close to where you are situated. So please don’t give up on your quest to become a carpenter there are plenty of other alternatives to apprenticeships out there.
For more info!
For lots more information on apprenticeship schemes and how to apply the government has a free “National Apprenticeship Helpline” here you will be provided with lots of information and advice and helpful tips too. Call them on 08000150600.
Alternatively there is a website available for apprentices where you’ll gain more information and you can request an information pack. Visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk
Well I’ve now come to the end of my article on carpentry apprenticeships. I sincerely hope I’ve helped you gain a little more knowledge on apprenticeships and whether or not they are the best option for you. They really are a great way of entering into the carpentry trade that not many people ever get the chance of experiencing.
Remember not everything can be learned from a textbook and this is your ideal chance to really get hands on with your chosen trade. So good luck with it all and I really hope you’ll get on an apprenticeship scheme soon. Good luck!