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Apprentices will ‘future-proof’ business, says carpentry company

31 May 2016
Image representing Apprentices will ‘future-proof’ business, says carpentry company

Blakeney-based carpentry company, R J Glover Builders, is the latest Gloucestershire business to champion apprenticeships, saying they will future-proof the organisation as traditional methods are passed down from the more experienced tradesmen.

R J Glover builds and refurbishes interesting and historic buildings, including barn conversions, across the Forest of Dean and beyond, and thanks to the success of their first carpentry apprentice, 18-year-old Tom Stephens, a former Lakers School pupil from Coleford, they have recently taken on a plumbing apprentice too.

Director Richard Glover said: “The growth of our business was our primary decision to employ apprentices. Our company is mainly made up of more mature and experienced tradesmen, so it seemed a natural progression for us to ensure that the traditional methods and quality used within the business is passed on to our apprentices, which in turn will future-proof our organisation. They bring a more modern approach to traditional methods, enthusiasm in attitude and new ideas.

“Tom’s enthusiasm to learn created renewed enthusiasm within our staff. They are pleased to ensure they pass on all their knowledge and enjoyment of the business and want Tom to progress successfully.”

As a kinaesthetic learner, Tom knew that the best way to achieve a career in carpentry was through an apprenticeship, and he was encouraged to pursue this by his builder uncle after completing his Level 1 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery at Gloucestershire College.

Tom said: “An apprenticeship gives me the opportunity to learn a trade in a working environment, and earn while doing so. If I had chosen to continue studying carpentry as a full-time course, I would have gained the relevant skills but not have the experience of putting these into practice every day. I would also not have the experience of site work, working with other trades and understanding how these all fit together to complete a project.”

Day-to-day Tom learns a variety of different skills, such as cutting and fitting skirting boards, making external doors, cutting and fixing architrave, helping to install kitchens, studwork and the importance of health and safety on a construction site, alongside studying for his Level 2 qualification in Site Carpentry at the College’s Forest of Dean Campus.

He added: “The work I do is always different and provides me with new experiences and skills that I can then use for the next job. These keep me thinking and solving little problems, which gives me a great feeling of job satisfaction.

“My dream career is to become a fully qualified carpenter with an excellent reputation for quality work. My apprenticeship with R J Glover Builders is helping me to achieve this by providing the manual skills I need, and to a very high standard.

“I would recommend doing an apprenticeship to young people as you learn in a working environment gaining skills and a qualification, whilst getting paid. These skills and qualifications will help you to further your career.”

Dave Fish, Tom’s Training Coordinator at Gloucestershire College, said: “Tom has made a real impact on R J Glover Builders, which has led to them taking on their first plumbing apprentice.

“He is progressing well in college and his employer is delighted with his work ethic, skill and politeness. Not only does Tom work full-time as an apprentice, but he attends college and works three to four nights a week as a waiter too – all with a smile on his face. He is an outstanding example for young people today.”

Gloucestershire College is the title sponsor for the Apprentice 1000 campaign and the leading provider of apprenticeships in the county; currently working with over 650 local businesses to train 976 apprentices across 19 industry areas.

If you’re a Gloucestershire business interested in apprenticeships, the GC Business Hub can help recruit and train apprentices to help you build a better workforce for the future. Visit for more information.

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