Carpentry apprenticeships are one of the oldest apprenticeships about. The purpose of apprenticeships is to provide students with a wide range of practical skills in their chosen field, in this case being carpentry. Carpenters are generally very skilled craftsmen who are needed within the construction industry. Generally speaking, there are two categories carpentry apprenticeships fall in. The first category includes detail carpenters who are involved with furniture, be it making or repairing it. The second category is called structural carpenters (or site carpenters), and these are craftsmen who are involved in the process of construction and building.
Things you Learn During Carpentry Apprenticeships
Carpentry apprenticeships teach you how to use all kinds of power tools. Therefore, you will probably learn a lot about health and safety first regarding handling of these tools. They will also teach you about construction site and workshop safety too. Usually apprenticeships last about two years. Over these two years you will be learning a wide range of practical woodworking skills. You will also be in a classroom on a regular basis to learn the theory behind the practical work. Completion of the apprenticeship means you receive a nationally recognised qualification, such as one from City & Guilds, or a construction NVQ. These kinds of qualifications provide you with opportunity’s when it comes to looking for a job. Below is a summary of the kind of things you learn during your apprenticeship.
- Carefully study drawings and construction plans to understand how things are built.
- Cutting of wood to make structural components and furniture.
- Repair broken structures.
- Work with different materials, including various metals, wood, plastic and the like.
- Installation of external frames and cladding on buildings and structures. This includes walls, doors and window frames.
- Building of staircases.
- Building of wooden structures such as timber wall and roofs.
Carpentry Apprenticeship Entry Requirements
Entry requirements can vary between different colleges and companies. However, good GCSEs in Maths and English would be helpful, as carpentry requires measurements and communication skills. Also any qualifications in subjects that contain technical drawings, woodworking or construction skills is a bonus too.
What if you Already Know Lots About Carpentry?
If you already have some knowledge and skills in this field, you can apply for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) and reduce the amount of training required. Furthermore, if you would like to apply for RPL, you must complete the following steps:
- Gather all relevant proof of skills and knowledge. This usually includes previous employment references, records, certificates and projects.
- You should meet with an assessor who will review your submission and assess whether your claims match up with the requirements of the carpentry apprenticeship you are applying to.
- Your assessor will sometimes arrange a practical test at a suitable workplace and this will provide you with the opportunity to showcase your skills and knowledge in the field.
Finding a Carpentry Apprenticeship
Unlike other industries, carpenters do not provide apprenticeship on a regular basis. This means that apprenticeships are usually offered by construction companies and similar businesses within the industry. You can find them locally or through job boards. Another place you will find carpentry apprenticeships is at colleges. Please note that not only certain colleges will offer such courses, so you will need to look around.
Other ways to Learn About Carpentry
If you struggle to get into an apprenticeship program, there are alternative options out there for you. City and Guilds offer short intensive courses in the basics of carpentry. This hands on course covers a range of useful carpentry skills, which is ideal for anyone who is contemplating undertaking a carpentry qualification. Or maybe you do carpentry as a hobby, and do not want to invest money and time into courses. If so, then you may enjoy our DIY Guides Blog. It contains all kinds of step by step guides for topics such as carpentry, joinery, construction and more. For example, you can learn about different kinds of woodworking joints.