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Young joiner lauds opportunities available through apprenticeships

A South Tyneside woodworker has said that the work and training he gained through his apprenticeship contributed to developing top-quality career prospects for him.

Scott Gray, from Hebburn, started seeking opportunities as a woodworking apprentice after realising his passion for carpentry and joinery while he was in school. In 2007 he was offered the chance to take up an apprenticeship in joinery and site carpentry with the South Tyneside Homes housing association – and he jumped at the opportunity without hesitation.

Scott was able to work towards NVQ qualifications while also gaining practical experience in professional environments. After swiftly completing an NVQ Level 2, Scott was able to progress on to working for an Advanced Apprenticeship in Wood Occupations. His apprenticeship allowed him to gain important experience in the work needed for fitting kitchens and other vital domestic joinery work.

The youngster – who was highly commended in the Apprentice of the Year category at the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2010 – has given back as much as he was getting from the apprenticeship and quickly made a name for himself as an exceptional worker.

Speaking with Apprenticeships.gov.uk, the national service for apprenticeship opportunities, Scott said that his experience has been invaluable.

“I’ve learned a lot of new skills and met a lot of new people,” he said. “Hopefully in the future I’d like to gain the necessary qualifications to become a supervisor – or even higher – within the company.”

Mark Whittle, the director of investments at South Tyneside Homes, said that they hire apprentices because they feel they are great ambassadors for their company.

“You’ve got to think about the company now, but also what the company’s going to be in the future,” he explained. “Bringing on apprentices is a great way of developing those skills and maintaining them as much for the community as well as for the company.”