Find out why Richard is doing a bricklaying course, his experience of training with Able Skills and what he plans to do with his new qualification.

In this latest instalment in our Student Stories series, we are back in the bricklaying department, this time to catch up with Richard. Reaching the end of his course, he explains why he’s done this particular bricklaying training, what made him choose Able Skills over other similar training providers, and his future plans for his continuing career in construction.

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what course are you currently doing

“Richard Price, I'm from Shropshire. I've just completed the City & Guilds level one bricklaying course.”

Will this be a career change?

“It will and it won’t. So, I currently do renovations and restoration work and general building, and I do stuff involving brick and stone, but not the sort of high-detail stuff that we’ve been doing here. So, there will be some changes to my work schedule.”

Why did you choose the course?

If it’s not a career change as such, we asked Richard what his motivation was for doing this course as he was already working in the trade.

“Because I kind of got sick of doing so many different things a little bit. I wanted to focus on something that I really enjoyed doing and I thought I could do for a long time and learn a lot of – that I considered to be brickwork.”

What do you plan to do with your new qualification?

“I used to live in Australia and I’m a plasterer by trade, so I wanted to get another qualification and start progressing in that before I apply for a visa.

Should I move back to Australia, I would prefer to be out in the sun laying bricks than inside plastering when it’s 40°”

How did you find out about Able Skills?

“Well, when I decided that I would like to start to retrain, I looked and looked. I’m from four hours away from here, and this genuinely seemed like the best place to come and do it really.”

What made you choose Able Skills over other training providers?

“I couldn't find anywhere closer that seemed as good as this place. Basically I’d say it’s when I communicated with the staff before I got here. They were very quick in getting back to me, very proactive, very informative and courteous and the facilities seemed great. The cost of the accommodation was also a factor.”

You’re staying in our student accommodation, how’s that been?

“It was cheap and the accommodation is good. So, I think when you’re away doing these courses, obviously you’re losing money because you’re not working, so any money you then have to spend on top of the course I think that it’s going to put some people off.

But here, I mean the course is very concise, I wouldn’t consider it over-priced at all, it’s very full of information and they use the time really well and the accommodation is cheap and it’s close to the centre, and it’s good.”

How did you find the course?

“It’s handy that I’ve done work with similar materials and tools before, but I think even if I hadn’t and you were to come here and have no idea what any of this stuff was, because of the instructors and the way it’s organised, I think you’d be fine.

I wish I could say that it’s only been fun, but there’s a lot of attention you have to pay, and it does get a bit stressful when you’re trying to make everything perfect. So, I wish I could say it’s only been fun, but it’s been demanding for sure!”

You already had some experience in bricklaying, have you learnt anything new?

“I’ve learned a lot. Stuff that if you’re at work you’ll probably just skip over it, but here you’re sort of forced to go over it again and again.

So, it’s been nice to have time to go over the details again and again without having to rush or get distracted by anything else because you’re just here to learn, so that’s been great.”

So, overall, do you think the course and your experience of Able Skills have met your expectations?

“Yeah, I would say I didn’t really have expectations about the course. It was more about how I would feel in my abilities once I completed it.

But I think overall, it’s the way it’s been put together. Everything is considered and it’s been fantastic. There’s nothing in my mind where I would think if they would have done that slightly differently, that probably would’ve worked better.”

Are you planning on coming back to do any more training?

“I would like to, but I’ve got to work for a little while. There’s stuff that other people are doing that I would really like the chance to do, so yeah, I would like to.”

Bricklaying courses at Able Skills

Whether you're looking for an introductory course or to gain an industry-recognised qualification, find out more about bricklaying courses at Able Skills here.