A 22-year-old Hemel Hempstead man has a foot on the career ladder, thanks to Hightown Housing Association increasing its opportunities for apprentices.
JJ Pao Wilks spends four days a week at Hightown as a multi-trade maintenance apprentice and one day studying at West Herts College for his multi-trade qualification.
JJ said: “I was previously doing shop work and studying carpentry at college.
“I wanted a job where I could use the skills I had learnt, and do something I had a real interest in.
“Hightown’s advert for an apprentice really stood out as it was just what I was looking for. It meant I could get the practical experience I need.
“On a typical day at Hightown, I’m in head office working on general maintenance jobs like painting, changing lightbulbs and making sure the training rooms are set up for the day.
“I also go out to their estates and supported housing schemes, where I might be replacing door frames, or helping with other maintenance tasks. I enjoy getting out and about, as it makes the job varied and interesting.
“I’ve learnt so much already and have made lots of good contacts in the trade, just through working at Hightown.
“My long-term goal is to be self-employed and use the skills I’m learning to have my own business.”
JJ’s boss, estates and facilities manager Mark Rooney said: “JJ has been fantastic to work with as he has a great attitude and is really proactive.
“You never have to ask him to do something twice”
National Apprenticeship Week runs until Friday. See www.getingofar.gov.uk