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Rodney's Carpentry Story

10 weeks is a long period of time and a lot can be accomplished within it. Rodney has spent 10 weeks building his new career at Able Skills.

Rodney Mapp has just completed his 10 week carpentry & joinery course at Able Skills, we have been keeping track of his progress each week. This is a huge career change for Rodney as he worked within the Flight Technical Library for British Airways, however he was unfortunately replaced by technology, but now he is ready to begin his carpentry career.

At the beginning of the course Rodney wanted to go self-employed as a carpenter, however he wanted to keep his options open as he was new into the industry. Rodney has explored many ideas of what sector he wants to go into because he has enjoyed every part of the course. The week he completed the kitchen fitting course was the week that had the biggest impact on him as he was very excited about it and he wanted to progress further.

Week by week Rodney was being challenged by his instructors and he feels this helped him learn more and pushed him on. Many parts of the course Rodney found difficult and underestimated his ability but he achieved it with a great deal of success.

This carpentry course isn’t the first course that Rodney has completed with us, before this he was unsure on what was the next step in his career so he decided to take on one of our multi skill courses so that he could have a go at different trades. After trying his hand at a number of different trades, Rodney decided that Carpentry was the path he wanted to take.

Rodney on his first day at Able Skills. Rodney on his first day at Able Skills.

As his first week burst into action Rodney doubted his ability and never imagined himself accomplishing what he had seen from other students. Of course once he got going he couldn't believe what he was capable of. Within the first week he was already learning how to hang doors and fit locks, which was much more than he expected. All 3 instructors had worked with Rodney and they had all been very helpful.

Week two came around very quickly and the learning continued. Rodney was learning how to prepare and fit skirting boards. At this point Rodney was very happy with the course and had no criticism. One of the instructors, Tim, had even gone out of his way to advise Rodney on what tools to buy. Also during this week he completed some rafters.

Throughout his third week he had completed various amounts of floorboards and floor coverings. He really enjoyed this week because he felt that he was making good progress and learning loads. In particular he was very happy with the different styles and techniques he was learning from all the tutors. At this point in the course he felt extremely confident with sawing wood accurately by both hand and machines.

Before he knew it Rodney had completed 4 weeks and this was his kitchen fitting week. This was one particular area that he was most interested in and he wants to go on and learn all aspects of kitchen fitting such as plumbing and electrical. However overall he found this week very satisfying as he was able to make something that is useful for others.

As the weeks were flying by, Rodney soon started his fifth week. He described this as one of the most difficult and most challenging tasks he had been faced with. Rodney, as always, got to work and working with a 2D drawing and transferring it into a 3D structure wasn't easy but he worked very hard and achieved this.

At the half way point Rodney had now finished carpentry and was about to begin his joinery. Rodney was all prepared as he bought his own tools and was ready to go. He can now see the bigger picture of how structures all join together as he has learnt a range of different joints. He has enjoyed the attention to detail in this part of the course as it has given him a wider range of skills.

A few joints Rodney has made. Some of Rodney's finished products on joinery.

Week by week Rodney was growing in confidence, week 7 was no different as joinery continued to be an area he enjoyed. He found this less stressful and felt that he was better at this. Completing different joints has given him a lot more confidence.

When it came to the point of just 3 remaining weeks, Rodney was now considering the NVQ route after his course. When I asked Rodney whether he preferred carpentry or joinery he couldn't decide because they are so different. He came to 3 weeks of joinery and he was very confident in his own ability.

As joinery came to a close in week 9, it was now time for Rodney to complete his own project. Out of a possible 3 choices he decided to make a bedside cabinet. Rather than going straight onto the NVQ, Rodney wants to get some work to gain experience and begin to build up a portfolio.

As the last week came around Rodney was feeling very confident in his ability to go out and work as a qualified Carpenter. After finishing his cabinet, which looked amazing, he was now considering his future and what he plans to do.

Rodney with his finished bedside cabinet on his carpentry course. Rodney with his finished bedside cabinet on his carpentry course.

Overall he has thoroughly enjoyed his course here at Able Skills and only had good words to say about the staff and his tutors. All 3 tutors, Kevin, Tim and Steve all had a big impact on how Rodney learnt and developed as a Carpenter over the 10 week course. Rodney said that one day he will be back once he has already started working, he plans to do the NVQ course.

Watching Rodney develop as a Carpenter over the 10 weeks has been great and we would like to wish him the best of luck with everything in the future and we will look forward to seeing him soon!