Doncaster teenager Michael Nowell has started a joinery apprenticeship with national housing developer Lovell during National Apprenticeship Week (3 to 7 March 2014).
The 18-year-old, who lives in Graftdyke Close, Rossington, landed his apprentice position with the help of national construction training organisation CITB and The Sheffield College. He will now have the chance to earn as he learns his trade working on the major Six Streets regeneration scheme which Lovell is carrying out for Doncaster Council.
Michael, who lives just four miles from the Six Streets development, says: "For me, this is the real start of my career and I'm very grateful to Lovell for giving me this opportunity. Joinery is very hands-on and I enjoy building things. Now I'm an apprentice I'll be able to gain the practical experience to complete my NVQ Level 2 qualification with Lovell's support. That's my current focus but beyond that, I want to keep improving and learning. In the future I'm interested in possibly becoming a quantity surveyor or valuer."
Michael was studying at The Sheffield College when he applied for the apprenticeship with Lovell with the help of a CITB programme designed to help young people find construction training positions. "It's not easy at the moment as there are a lot of people wanting to get into the industry and not that many apprenticeship schemes out there," he says. "I'd contacted a number of firms who had told me they were not taking on trainees this year."
Tracy Bodle, CITB apprenticeship officer for Sheffield, says: "Since enrolling in September 2013, Michael has been fully committed to the course. With my support he has worked tirelessly to find an apprenticeship within the construction industry all the while attending college at his own expense. Everyone concerned is thrilled that Michael has managed to secure this position and wish him well."
Lovell regional training advisor Sharon Jarvis says: "We were impressed with Michael when we interviewed him and are delighted to be helping him build his construction career. It's a good example of the wider benefits that Lovell aims to bring to projects such as Six Streets, extending the positive effects of the regeneration by delivering job and training opportunities."
Doncaster Mayor, Ros Jones, comments: "Getting people into apprenticeships is one of my key priorities, and I am delighted that Lovell is giving one of our young people the opportunity, on one of our projects in Doncaster.
"Often that first step on the career ladder is the most difficult, and I believe it is essential that we create opportunities for all. Apprenticeships are the ideal way for young people to get the skills they need, and open up their future prospects and job opportunities. Well done and good luck to Michael."