CCATF Chairman, Geoff Lister, has travelled all over the UK since January to talk to different groups of employers about apprenticeships. We are now nearly half way through 2011 and he is still hearing plenty of reports that businesses do not have enough confidence in the economy to take on an apprentice.
So this month he shares the story of a former apprentice and looks at how someone can go from apprentice to world champion - given the right opportunity.
According to Matthew Timby, a former student at Leeds College of Building (LCB), dedication and hard work is what it takes to be a successful apprentice, so successful in fact that you end up winning a world championship title!
Matthew Timby, originally from Gainsborough, studied for his Roof Slating and Tiling Apprenticeship at Leeds College of Building with the help of local employer Otter Roofing. After successfully completing his NVQ Level 2, Matthew’s tutors put him forward for the national SkillBuild competition where he won the first gold medal of his career. After that, Matthew got stuck into his NVQ Level 3 and took the gold medal in roof slating and tiling for a second year in a row at the 2010 SkillBuild finals.
MATTHEW WINS ANOTHER GOLD
Matthew’s tremendous talent in his chosen trade made him an obvious candidate for the International Federation of Roofing Contractors (IFD) World Championship competition, where he won gold for Britain in the young roofers category.
Inspired by his tutors at LCB, Matthew continued to look for ways to develop his skills and successfully applied to the Princes Trust for the Built Environment who supported him through an eight-month apprenticeship in the traditional building and conservation sector.
With his specialist skills, Matthew is now a successful self-employed roofer. He says he owes it all to his apprenticeship, which he describes as the best possible start to his career in the industry, “none of this would have been possible without the guidance and support of my tutors, Chris Messinger and Terry Chiswell, sharing their passion, and providing me with all of the knowledge and the skills I have needed to succeed. I still speak to my classmates, who are all still working hard in the roofing industry and they all appreciate what they gained from their years at LCB.”
APPRENTICESHIPS LEAD TO A SUCCESSFUL CAREER
Ian Billyard, Principal at Leeds College of Building, said: “Matthew’s story shows that an apprenticeship in the construction industry isn’t necessarily an easy route but that it is something of real value. Apprenticeships are an opportunity to learn the skills needed to lead to a truly successful career. At LCB, we see competitions as an important extra dimension to studies by providing students with a platform to develop their skills on the national and international stage.”
Having experienced firsthand the benefits of investing in training and qualifications, Matthew definitely hopes to employ apprentices of his own in the future.
Geoff Lister, FCIOB CCATF Chairman