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6 March 2023


Declan Kelly, who qualified a year ago as a Wall & Floor Tiler after a 4-year apprenticeship at Compass Building and Construction Services shares his journey on the road to becoming fully qualified and what he has learned along the way.

Why did you apply for an apprenticeship?

I was looking for a career in construction and through the DYW Journey into Construction scheme learned that apprenticeships were the best way to achieve this. It sounded great as it had a mix of on-site experience and learning at college on a block release basis.

What does a typical day look like for you?

One day I can be working on a large contract and the next on a new build or small works and refurbishments. The work is varied, and no two days are the same. I can be working anywhere in the Highlands meaning I’m not working in the same workplace every day.

What skills have you learnt?

I have learned how to Tile, Render, Screed, Plaster Patch and much more in both new builds and older properties. Team work, is really important but also being able to work independently and problem solve. My apprenticeship has also helped build these skills. I am also much more confident than I was at the start of my apprenticeship.

What’s the best bit about being an apprentice?

Seeing how far you have come along and progressed. It might seem at the beginning that you don’t know much about the trade but you learn from people on site. You also learn in college and can take these skills back to site.

What advice would you give as a young person to a young person about becoming an apprentice?

Have confidence and do not shy away from challenges. As an apprentice you will not get everything right first time. It’s not the end of the world if you make mistakes, you actually learn from this.