Careers case study: Build your skills by learning a trade

By Future TalentEd

In our rapidly evolving economy, skilled tradespeople remain in high demand.

Here, 18-year-old Layton Rowley, from South Yorkshire, explains why he is joining the new Installation Apprentice scheme launched by home retailer Wickes — and what he hopes to get out of it.

What encouraged you to apply for the new Wickes Installation Apprenticeship opportunity?

I was studying Electrical Engineering Level 2 at college and I was keen to find a hands-on apprenticeship where I could develop for the future. Wickes is a very well-known company, so I was really interested in it.

Did you always have an interest in this career path?

My dad is a tradesman and he introduced me to the opportunity with Wickes. I have experience in electrical too, as this is what I studied at college. I’m looking forward to learning a trade, but also about behaviour, communication and business skills.

What were Wickes looking for in applicants and what did you study previously?

They were looking for people who were polite and have enough confidence to speak to customers, as they will be representing Wickes when in their homes completing work. They were also looking for ‘hands-on’ people who are enthusiastic and keen to learn.

“I’m looking forward to learning a trade, but also about behaviour, communication and business skills”

Anyone with the right attitude and an interest in learning can apply, although if you already have a qualification that’s on the same level as the apprenticeship, Wickes may need to question your eligibility.

At school, I studied Maths, English and Trilogy Science. After school, I went on to college to study electrical installation.

What will your apprenticeship involve in practical terms?

It’s an 18-month programme, which will see me learn different life and trade skills, with mentoring support. The majority of the time will be spent on site with an installer from Wickes, learning how to install their kitchens. Around a fifth of my time will be learning from formal training, which teaches the technical aspects of fitting a kitchen, behaviour, customer service and business skills. It will be mostly hands-on working 9-5 each day.

What do you hope to get out of the apprenticeship and what is your ultimate ambition?

I hope to learn a trade that I will progress in in the future and learn both practical and business skills that I can use in whatever job I do. I also want to improve my communication and confidence skills, with both customers and colleagues.

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This piece was first featured in our Spring 2021 issue of Future TalentEd magazinefor careers leaders, parents and students.

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