Tips To Becoming a Woodwork Apprentice

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An apprenticeship is a great way to kickstart your career, particularly when you are interested in starting a career in an industry such as woodwork. Gaining hands-on experience whilst earning a living is the best way to develop the skills you need to take on roles such as a carpenter, joiner, wood machinist or any other role within the industry. Whilst working alongside an experienced and qualified employer, an apprentice will learn to handle a number of new tools and operate a variety of woodwork machinery. If you are interested in a career in woodwork, here is exactly why an apprenticeship may be right for you. 

Why choose an apprenticeship? 

Apprenticeships are not only a great way to learn the relevant skills for your dream career, but they also help to build your confidence and independence, moulding you to become the perfect candidate for any employer in the construction industry. Some of the benefits of choosing an apprentice include: 

  • Earning while you learn 
  • Learning the essential and desirable skills employers look for when hiring woodwork roles. 
  • Progression opportunities, often you will receive an opportunity to progress onto higher level apprenticeships/qualifications or a potential full-time job role from your employer. 
  • When you complete your apprenticeship, you may see an increase in salary as a result of your developed knowledge and training. 
  • Become a more confident individual with the necessary employability skills to progress in your career. 
  • A chance to gain necessary Maths and English qualifications which will be incorporated into your apprenticeship if you do not already have these certifications. 

What you will learn as a woodwork apprentice 

When working as an apprentice in carpentry and joinery your day-to-day work life will involve carrying out skilled work, using timber and woodwork tools and machinery. Usually, you will be working on a construction site or within a wood workshop. The skills you learn will be put to you to create, build, and install products. It is important to remember; apprenticeships within construction require a level of commitment and dedication in order to receive your qualification. Often you will be waking up early to begin work for 8am and will have lots to pay attention to throughout the day. 

When looking for an apprenticeship in the woodwork industry the CITB are a main provider of apprenticeships in construction across England, Scotland, and Wales. Alternatively, the government website is a great place to start your search as they can match you to a role which suits your requirements. You can also go into local colleges to express your interest in completing an apprenticeship and they will be able to match you with a partner employer or help you find a woodwork employer in your local area. 

Careers in woodworking 

Within woodworking there are a variety of roles to explore. From Carpenter and Joiner to Wood Machinist, there are a number of career paths and progression opportunities in the industry.

Carpenters typically spend their working days on construction sites or within private properties fitting products which have been made by a joiner. This is usually products like doors, windows, and staircases. On occasion a carpenter may have to construct products on-site, but these are typically finished in a workshop before being delivered to be fitted. 

Joiners will mostly be found working in workshops creating and producing products using woodwork tools and machinery. These tools and machinery will be utilised to complete their tasks and finish the product with materials like paint, coatings, and sealants. 

A wood machinist will also work in wood workshops, often taking on a technical role which includes producing the components for joinery products using woodwork machinery and programming the woodwork machinery for use.