At Able Skills we’ve been helping people get their careers in construction off to the best possible start for nearly two decades. 

Throughout that time, we’ve had an endless line of incredible talent come through our doors and go on to achieve brilliant things. 

We love shouting about all of our graduates and their achievements, which is exactly why we’ve introduced our Student Success Stories series. In each piece, we’ll catch up with one of our former students, find out where they’re up to in their careers and ask them to share priceless advice gathered from their time spent in the industry. 

Kicking off the series, we spoke to Sarah Newman, a self-employed painter, decorator and restorer. Sarah decided she wanted to add tiling to her business’ services, leading her to enrol in and complete the City & Guilds 4 Week DIY Tiler Course.

What does a typical day look like? 

“There is no such thing as a 'typical' day! It can range from simply painting a room to restoring Grade 2 listed shop fronts and Georgian houses. I'm usually involved in a lot of prep work, and can usually be found with my Mirka orbital sander and Fein multitool in hand!”

That ever-changing nature of the day-to-day, along with the incredible clients, is what makes the job so special to Sarah. 

“It's the variety of work, and the people I work for. Being self employed, work generally comes in through word of mouth, and all my clients I choose to work with are great.”

How has the course helped your career? 

“I only completed the course a couple of weeks ago and since posting about my experience on social media and writing to companies I’ve already had offers of apprenticeships and work opportunities in tiling specifically.”

Sarah pointed out how useful social media has been in getting her name out there and generating business leads.

“I posted a lot on social media, tagging in all the relevant people and companies in an effort to drum up business or job offers. I just kept speaking to people and writing emails to companies I was interested in working for.”

Sarah’s key advice

Since setting up her business, Sarah has found the industry incredibly welcoming—adding that people are always willing to offer their guidance if you seek it. 

“People have been quick to help in any way they can. I think if you're keen and express a willingness to listen and learn and turn up on time consistently, they can't ask for more.

“Ask lots of questions, keep speaking to people about their careers, follow all the relevant companies on social media to keep up to date in your practice”

You can check out Sarah’s work by following her business’ Instagram page here.

Are you interested in developing your skills in tiling? Our 4 Week Tiling Course is perfect for beginners and covers all of the most essential aspects. Starting with the basics, you’ll move on to more complex tasks before ultimately completing your City & Guilds assessment. 

Ready to enrol, or just looking for a little more information? Our team would be happy to discuss. Give us a call on 01322 280 202, request a brochure or pop into our training centre for a chat.