New carpentry apprentice Ellis Davies is putting on his hard hat and high viz for another day’s work at Barratt Kent’s Chilmington Green development on Parkland Drive. Fledgling ‘chippy’ Ellis (23) began his Level 2 Carpentry apprenticeship with the housebuilder in August 2022, helping to plug the construction skills shortage gap .
“You really do learn something new every day,” says Ellis, who splits his time between working on site with the subcontractors at Chilmington Green and Stephenson College in Leicestershire for practical and theoretical training. “I practically grew up in the trade, as lots of my family already work in carpentry and construction, so I had a very clear career path in mind when I joined the course. You get stuck in from day one onsite,
learning from an array of different teams and getting to try my hand at all the different parts of the build from stud walls to conversions. I have already gained so much experience and skills in my first year, so I am excited to see what’s in store for the year ahead.”
New apprentices with Barratt Kent can choose to qualify in either carpentry or bricklaying. The 18-month course will see Ellis gain crucial hands-on training, supported by the expertise of the construction team, and interspersed with block-weeks at Stephenson College where he will learn about the construction process in detail, and gain off-site practical training. After Ellis qualifies, he can either choose to go into full-time employment for the subcontractor or continue into a Level 3 qualification.
“I wanted to continue working in the construction industry, but also gain an important qualification, so for me an apprenticeship was perfect,” continues Ellis. “I had applied for a few apprenticeships in the same industry; however, Barratt Kent was the employer who stood out to me due to the time and effort they put into their apprenticeship job adverts. From day one you are equipped with the details and knowledge to be able to achieve your career goals, and I am happy with how much progression I have made already. An apprenticeship at Barratt would suit anyone who has a willingness to learn, likes variation, and wants to succeed!”
Alongside the hands-on training for apprentices, lessons at Stephenson College cover everything from the land buying process all the way to the latest industry regulations, providing apprentices with a wider insight into the process of building new homes. At the end of the course, apprentices will be challenged with speaking, practical and multiple-choice examinations to complete their qualification.
Natalie Perry, Sales and Marketing Director for Barratt Kent Counties, comments: “The next generation of tradespeople are the backbone of Barratt Kent and the wider construction industry. Apprenticeships offer people the rare combination of a full-time job and a paid for qualification, and for jobs in construction, on-site experience is essential. We are proud to be supporting young people in our local community to find employment opportunities – our flagship apprenticeship scheme is second to none, offering a two-pronged learning approach to gain real experience on a construction site, working in tandem with our award-winning site teams to pass on their knowledge and expertise. Apprentices such as Ellis will also have the opportunity to learn in an academic environment at Stephenson College, helping them to gain the wider knowledge that will give them an unshakable foundation on which to build their career.”
“If you want a career which is rewarding, fun, and full of progression, an apprenticeship with Barratt Kent is perfect – as long as you aren’t afraid of a 7:30am start on a cold January morning!” concludes Ellis.