Ethan enjoys the hands-on experience Jobs Growth Wales+ offers.
Ethan, from Barry, always knew he was destined to work in the construction sector.
Having worked on little jobs with his grandad since he was a child, it was starting the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme that helped him decide that carpentry or joinery was the route he wanted to take. Ethan is currently on the Advancement strand of the programme.
Ethan explained: “I had a good idea that woodwork was up my street but being able to practice carpentry and delicate woodwork day-to-day definitely helped me make my decision.
“Eventually, I’d really love to get a job in a joinery workshop making furniture and more decorative items. Alternatively, I do also love tiling – so I’d be happy to get a work placement in that too depending on what opportunities are available.”
Preparing for a job
Now close to starting the Employment strand of the programme, Ethan explains the type of experiences he’s had and how this has helped him to improve.
“I’m really happy with my progression. Before, I could do basic woodwork and tiling, but now I can do more decorative and in-depth work. I feel like I’m producing quality work now.
“I’ve learnt other trades as well, like plastering, painting and decorating, and skirting board cutting. I’m glad that they’ve allowed me to learn new skills which means I am quite well-rounded in different fields of construction.
“The best thing for me is the hands-on experience you get. At college, you tend to do a lot more written work, but this programme has a strong focus on practicing and developing practical skills that can prepare you a lot more for a job.”
As well as supporting his grandad doing odd jobs in carpentry or tiling alongside the programme, Ethan was successful in landing a work placement earlier in the year.
He explained: “I had experience working on the gas mains with Wales & West Utilities which felt was a really amazing opportunity. It also gave me some experience in plumbing that I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t come on the programme. The whole placement was really beneficial for my learning and development.
“My confidence has really improved from experiences like these too, especially when speaking to older people or professionals.
“In construction, it often feels like older people with more experience always know exactly what they’re doing and what they’re talking about, but I’ve found that I can also offer a more modern approach, given I’m still fresh in the training phase.
“It’s nice having the confidence to tell them – not in a condescending way – but in a helpful and constructive way, the same as people have for me while I’ve been learning.
Jobs Growth Wales+ has also helped me get my Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card and ‘My World of Work’ qualification which are all a bonus when it comes to me applying for a full-time role soon.”
Need extra qualifications or support to take your next step? Get ahead with this Jobs Growth Wales+ strand.
Jobs Growth Wales+ is a training and development programme for 16-19 year olds that gives you the skills, qualifications and experience you need to get a job or further training.
See how real people around Wales have changed their story with Jobs Growth Wales+.