A SOUTH Derbyshire teenage is laying the foundations for his career in the construction trade with the help of a man from the area who had worked his way up the ladder at a top firm.
Lewis Shelley, from Swadlincote, is one of five apprentices taken on by Barratt Homes and is currently learning on the job while undertaking his NVQ Level 3 in joinery at Burton and South Derbyshire College.
He is being helped along the way by Mike Attfield, a senior contracts manager who is from the area, and started his career as an apprentice joiner.
“I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship, and I’ve learnt so much already”, said Lewis, who is currently working at Barratt Homes’ Highgrove development in Church Gresley.
“I can’t wait to put my skills to the test, and I hope to keep doing this in the future.”
He is being assisted on his journey by Mr Attfield, who he hopes to emulate and follow him up the ranks.
After his apprenticeship, he moved between various departments within the company, spending two years as a bedroom fitter for the firm’s fitted furniture division, and seven years in the joinery department working on Wilson Bowden projects, during which time he helped set up a new carpet department.
After making the decision to move to site, he quickly progressed from site manager through the ranks to contracts manager and now senior contracts manager.
He said: “Being a part of this company feels like being a part of a family. I’m still in touch with the people I met in my first few years working at the company and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
“I would really encourage people who want to get a feel for this industry to take on apprenticeships.
“When you work on site, every day is different and you’re always learning something new.”