Introducing our new apprentice - Joe Chapman

Introducing Joe Chapman - Unity Group's new JCK Joinery Apprentice 

This week, our Director Graham took the time to find out more about our new apprentice Joe. 

'Hi Joe, thanks for taking the time to talk, I know you’re all busy in the workshop, so let’s get straight to it. '

How old are you Joe? 

I’m 16, and I turn 17 on Sunday. 

- Ah, it’s your birthday Sunday. Well congratulations for then! 

How long have you been with us? 

I completed a 45 day placement and then I decided to pursue a proper apprenticeship. 

I’ve been working full time for the past two and a half months.

What was your reason for that Joe? 

Well, I think that it’s way better learning in the workplace than at college, you learn so much more. I’ve learned a lot already. 

Can you tell us more about your college course? When does it start? 

The course begins in September and it’s a block course, with 1 week in college every 6 weeks. If everything goes as I hope I should attain a Level 2 NVQ in Bench Joinery. 

What do you like about working here?

It’s really hands on and I prefer that. I like learning on the job and it allows me to live my passion. I’m really interested in carpentry and joinery and I’m enjoying being able to develop my skills. 

What kind of work have you been doing so far? 

Lots of work! When I started I was doing little bits of jobs, hinges, locks and keeps, now I’m doing pretty much what the other guys are doing, like completing a door from start to finish and even hanging as well. 

Have you been learning how to interpret the drawings? 

Yeah, it’s not easy though. I’ve just started that with the supervisor Stef, he’s been showing me how to do it. 

What skills have you learned that you didn’t have before? 

I’ve learned everything! It’s really a new beginning for me as I didn’t know anything about the practical skills of joinery before. I’ve also learned how to use hand tools like chisels and saws as well as sanders and routers.

What’s a key highlight for you? 

How far I’ve come in a short time I’d say. From knowing nothing; to be able to finish a door all on my own is a massive highlight and achievement. 

And the biggest challenge? 

The biggest challenge…. Not messing things up! You have to be so careful and precise.

Were you worried about that initially? 

I wouldn’t say worried, but I was a bit nervous, because the littlest thing can mess up the whole door. Now I’m so much more confident and capable. 

What does the future hold Joe? What’s next? 

I’d like to continue to learn more and complete my studies. I would love to take the skills I learn here at JCK and then use them in my own life, to be useful and handy around the house. I’d like to imagine fitting a kitchen for instance and doing joinery work for myself. 

Tell us something we don't know about you? What are your passions? 

I really love fishing. It’s a passion passed down from my Dad and my Uncle and I spend a lot of time doing that - carp and pike fishing the most. I like being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air, I often go out on my bike too. 

And finally. Who’s the best singer in the workshop? Quite often we hear the team singing on the videos they send over and we’re keen to know?… 

That’s hard! God, I mean none of them are exactly the best. (Shhh). 

OK, so the best of a bad bunch! 

I would say Jamie! He’s definitely got the loudest voice in my part of the workshop! 

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