It's Lifelong Learning Week, a week dedicated to raising the profile of lifelong learning and championing adult learners and adult learning providers. To mark the week, we wanted to celebrate one of our own inspiring adult learners, Carpentry and Joinery Apprentice Christian.
Christian is an adult apprentice with Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, currently studying at the Greater Manchester SkillCentre in Trafford Park.
Prior to starting his apprenticeship, Christian worked as a live-in carer for disaffected young people. When he was a teenager, he completed some work experience in joinery which he really enjoyed. Christian was inspired by his grandad, who worked as a joiner for Manchester Council for many years.
After some deliberation, he made the decision to complete an apprenticeship at age 35 so that he could gain a nationally recognised qualification in a trade which he loved.
Christian said: “I came to the Growth Company as I wanted to learn new skills to begin a new career. Studying at the SkillCentre has been great, the tutors are really supportive and knowledgeable about their subject and it’s an exciting place where you can meet people with different experiences and trade backgrounds. I’ve made many friends and have a great working relationship with the tutors and my peers.”
During sessions at the SkillCentre, the group age range is very mixed. Christian offers lots of support to his peers on an academic and personal level and is a fantastic role model for younger apprentices. Christian is currently mentoring other apprentices and is considering completing a teaching course in the future to further upskill.
Christian is a big advocate for lifelong learning, he said: “This apprenticeship has made the biggest difference to my career as I’ve had to opportunity to gain experience and make new contacts as well as gaining a qualification.
“I’d encourage anyone to do an apprenticeship at any age. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my career and my job prospects are better than ever thanks to the skills I’ve learned. It’s never too late for an apprenticeship!”
We were delighted when Christian was shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year Award at the Construction Apprenticeship Awards.
After his apprenticeship, Christian is hoping to secure a permanent role with his employer and continue to hone his skills and talents. He has also designed a logo for how own business for any work he takes on outside of his employment.
If you’re looking to brush up on skills you already have or want to take your first steps into something new, our training courses and apprenticeships are the ideal starting point.
Take a look at our website to find out more about our Apprenticeships and Adult Courses.