Fitting Tribute have been established for over 10 years. Originally a small carpentry outfit, they have grown into a much larger team, creating furniture for bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms. The team of 6 are growing steadily and have just recruited their first apprentice in their workshop at Edington.
They are one of the latest business to pledge to Be Involved, we spoke to owners Richard and Alan and their new apprentice Ben about why apprenticeships are so important in their small business.
Ben Smith, 16, is about to embark on his 2-year Level 2 Carpentry apprenticeship.
Why did you opt for the apprenticeship route?
I knew about apprenticeships from Schools careers fairs and I knew I would learn quicker if I was able to learn on the job. I had been interested in carpentry from around Year 10, so I did some work experience at Fitting Tribute in the Easter holidays I really enjoyed it so when I found out the business were looking to take on an apprentice I applied. I also like the work environment; the small team makes it easy for me to ask questions when I need to.
Why are apprenticeships important to your business?
I was an apprentice myself, so I know the value of learning on the job, what you learn at college can then be applied at work, where you have more time to practice without a class full of students watching you and waiting for their turn on the machines for example.
We know that apprenticeships provide a real-world experience, it’s not just the carpentry skills the apprentice will learn, we will train them from the design process to installation process, learning customer service skills and becoming more confident.
What advice would you give to another employer considering an apprentice?
Go for it, yes there is a risk but do a working interview or provide work experience for students, so you can establish what the candidates are like before you employ them. You must also understand the right way to train somebody, that way you will get the most out of the apprentices, not everybody learns in the same way.