National Apprenticeship Week helps us bring attention to the amazing talent, growing within our organisation. I spent some time with our four new apprentices to learn a little about them.

We concentrated on why they became apprentices, what attracted them to Tai Calon, and some of the important lessons they’ve learned so far. So, we hope you enjoy learning about our apprentices and their journey so far…

How did you become an apprentice?

Callum – I went straight to college to do a trade course, but it was the open days which allowed us to explore apprenticeships.
Dylan – I knew I wanted to go to college, but the apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to learn on the job.
Rhys – I always wanted to be a trade. I went into the world of work for a year and knew that job wasn’t for me.
Tyler – I also went to college to ensure I got my qualifications in my trade.

Why your trade specifically?

Callum – I considered both electrics and plumbing, and I did a skills test in Coleg Gwent on which one would suit me best. My first year of college involved both trades but I soon realised Plumbing was for me.
Dylan – I went to an open evening when I was 16 at Coleg Gwent, I tried bricklaying, and I knew it wasn’t for me. I tried electrics – too many wires but ultimately liked the hands-on approach with plumbing.
Rhys – At school I did work experience with Tai Calon in Carpentry, and I really liked it, so that’s what I pursued.
Tyler – I started doing plastering in lockdown, then realised I like my back too much. I then started doing an attic conversion with my stepdad at home, and I realised I liked working with wood so that’s the reason I went in for Carpentry.

 Why choose an apprenticeship over full-time college or the world of work?

Callum – I started in college and it led me into the direction of an apprenticeship which was best for me.
Dylan – From school I always knew I wanted an apprenticeship and then a college tutor convinced me that I would get a lot from working on the job.
Rhys – I knew I wanted to do Carpentry after school, but I didn’t really know how. So, I went into the world of work, and did not enjoy it at all. After a year, I seen this apprenticeship come out and went for it. I live in Blaenau Gwent so working so close to home is great for me.
Tyler – I wanted the experience. I will get a lot from working on the job, and then can use college to get the formal qualification.

Why Tai Calon?

Callum – It’ so hard to get an employer to support you with an apprenticeship. There weren’t many other organisations at our open days, which shows Tai Calon cares and made me want to work here.
Dylan – Seeing Bronco (Mark Williams  and Jordan Davidge  at the open day gave me an insight into Tai Calon. I hadn’t heard of Tai Calon before, but as you attended the open day, I was able to see the type of people who worked here which was great.
Rhys – My set focus was coming to Tai Calon really, following my work experience. My mother also works quite closely with Tai Calon, so I had encouragement there too.
Tyler – I’d not really heard of Tai Calon before living in Merthyr, but my family have always encouraged me to work in social housing if I can, so I applied straight away from seeing the advert.

What skills have you learnt since joining us?

Callum – For me it’s communication with tenants which is something I’ve never done before, so everytime I go into a property, I learn something new. As for my trade, I’ve learnt so much more in my first few weeks here than in college.
Dylan – In college, the set up is prepared for you, so it’s ideal. I’ve learnt that in real life, things aren’t that simple. In reality, you can be stuck with a toilet in a really tight space, and you need to adapt and overcome the issue. You adjust to the environment you’re in and that’s what I’ve learnt. I’m learning from Phillip Jones now, and he can identify things so quickly!
Rhys – When we go to the property, tenants ask for new stuff, but I’ve learnt that often it’s about understanding what they do need, and the tools that can be used to support whatever change you’re going to make. Maintenance is also very different from what we did in college (which was build new). I’ve also learnt there’s much more to carpentry than Wood!
Tyler – The maintenance is a big difference to me too. But probably the biggest learning for me is picking up on my mentor Jack Humphrey, and what and how he does things. I’m now with Josh Padfield  and I’m realising everyone does things differently, so I need to find my own way.