Rachel Howarth

Mar 12, 2013

AGE: 23
LIVES: in Salford
JOB: Rendering Apprentice



Like many people I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left school but I had 10 GCSEs and so could have gone on to do quite a lot.  I have a big family and was used to looking after kids and so I went to college to study childcare.  I qualified and got a job but I hated it.

My granddad was a plasterer and so I thought OK that’s what I am going to do.  I was referred to the apprenticeship route by the Job Centre and was dead chuffed to be given the chance to train as an apprentice joiner with Emanuel Whittaker.  I did this for about a year but after watching and doing some rendering I asked to be swapped on to that.

I absolutely love it and the atmosphere on site working with a load of lads is totally different to working with a load of girls and kids in childcare.  I am seen as one of the lads on site and that is how I like it.

It is obviously hard physical work but I am fit and I don’t mind it.  I get a real sense of satisfaction once a job is done and you see your lovely render on the outside of a building.  In fact, one building I did has now got graffiti on it and I was really annoyed that my work had been ruined!

People think all apprenticeships are just for school leavers but there is funding available for older people and I don’t think you are ever too old to change direction or learn a new skill. It was definitely the best move I ever made.

Of course the wages are not great to start with but if you are in a dead end job they won’t be great there either.  The money increases as you progress through the apprenticeship and in just a few short years all the hard work is over and you come out the other side with a professional qualification.

I have a trade and I am confident my skills will always be in demand.  Ideally I would love to stay on at Emanuel Whittaker as it is a great company to work for and I know the ropes now.  But if there is nothing available I know I could go elsewhere or even just get myself a van and set up on my own.

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