Even though our trainees keep telling us that they are pleasantly surprised how friendly and inclusive our workshop is when they first come along, those first impressions are so important. It’s like day one in a new job or school: you don’t know what to expect and if you are going to fit in okay.
Adam landed on day one with a skateboard under his arm. This wasn’t his main method of transport for getting to the workshop but a lifelong passion he’s had since the age of six. Together with his previous experience as a joinery apprentice, he was rearing to take things to the next level.
Over the years we’ve realised how important the first day is, so we try to make sure that
- You are made to feel welcome, know where the tea and toilets are and are oriented to the workshop
- You get to know some friendly faces and get buddied up with somebody who can show you the ropes
- You get to make something to take home on the day
- You start learning to use the machines and tools ‘hands on’ from the start
- We find out what your level of experience is and whether you have any passions or hobbies that you can do something with while you attend
Adam describes skateboarding as a ‘lifestyle’: “I was brought up in it.” Most of the friends he skated with in his younger years have lost interest and gone on to other things but for him, now in his early twenties, it became a passion. It was only natural that he’d make a skateboard ramp on his first day.
“This is a really positive environment. Everyone can get to know each other and collaborate.”
For his next project, Adam made a much larger piece of equipment and got some help from those around him. He tells me the next thing he wants to make is a ‘half pipe’ ramp. That’s going to be a big project, but he’s on a roll now.
“I’d encourage anyone who wants to go deep with woodworking to really get involved here and find their path. This is the best place to do it, the best workshop.”