Making the Grade!

The smile says it all. Keith is one of the first crop of trainees graduating from our in-house training program this month.

Keith’s lovingly finished cue case is the envy of his pals at the local snooker club.

This was my biggest project so far.” he tells me.

Five candidates enrolled on the course in entitled ‘Giving Back’. They attended weekly training sessions tutored by Rob. The learning fitted comfortably alongside their usual workshop activities as they were able to pursue projects that counted towards their coursework. Everyone completed the course, achieving a Level II Skills in Employment, Training and Personal Development (SETPD). This involved practical and theoretical modules on Health and Safety Responsibilities, Problem Solving and Timber for Construction.

Keith was delighted with what he achieved:

You have a lot to achieve, but by the time you’re done, you’ve completed two woodworking projects, one in a hardwood and one in another type of wood. The best thing about it is going from planning your project, choosing what you’re going to do, right through to the end result.

Keith is quick to highlight how his confidence grew over the weeks.

I had only really used the band saw before, that was my thing, but I didn’t use it at all on this project. I am usually impatient and want to take things home at the end of the day but I knew I had to be patient with this and do it properly. I was frustrated with understanding the measurements  to begin with, but around 60% effort I saw it coming together and it was worthwhile. Towards the end I was working on my own. My favourite part was the finishing touches: putting the hinges and clasps on, and the green felt and spacer. It built my confidence.

Rob also noted that Keith was a model student:

Through the course, Keith improved in confidence and developed a project he never dreamed he could make at the beginning. Not only has he come away with a real qualification and a certificate to prove it but he expanded his skills and understanding of the materials he was using, and he overcame frustrations to create a high quality project. This has opened up a wider range of possibilities for future projects.

Last year, in association with Academy 3-13, courses were offered on site in Teamwork, Health and Safety Procedures and Basic Carpentry Skills (SETPD Level I ). At the end of January, Rob will be launching the Level I course with a new batch of trainees, many of whom had never imagined they could get a qualification for skills they are already learning and putting into practice by getting stuck in at our workshop.

It’s a thrill to be able to offer our trainees this opportunity to grow their confidence and invest in their future in such a tangible way.

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