Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2024

We spoke to 2 of our current apprentices to see what skills they have learned and developed since beginning their courses:

Callum is a 3rd year apprentice, currently working as part of the team at Charlotte Square and Jack, a 4th year apprentice working in our Manufactured Joinery workshop in Inchinnan:

  • What would you tell a peer about being an apprentice at TJL?

Callum: It is an outstanding job with great opportunities where I am learning not just about my trade but life in general.

Jack: It’s difficult work but it’s rewarding.  All of the tradespeople will help you when you’re not sure what to do.

  • What skill have you learned in class that you can apply right now at work?

Jack: Working in a team.  This comes in handy in work as we are often on big projects that require a lot of manpower.

Callum: I have learned to use my hand tools as well as the power tools which I now use on site.

  • What aspects do you enjoy the most?

Jack: Learning the different ways to do tasks on projects from a variety of tradespeople who have a lot of experience on the job.

Callum: I like the camaraderie and working as part of a team, and I am learning new skills every day.

  • Do you have a specific project or task you’ve worked on that you’ve found particularly rewarding?

Callum: Whilst I was working at the Virgin Hotel in Edinburgh, I really enjoyed fitting the sliding barn doors in all the bedrooms.

Jack: I worked on building a new canteen for the workshop factory and being there from the rip out of the old one to building a new one and fitting it all out.  It felt rewarding as the job was constantly changing and I got to use most of the skills I’ve learned so far.

  • Can you describe a typical day?

Callum: I arrive well in advance of start time ready for 8:00 am start, then commence work with the tradesmen I have been assigned to where we perform the various tasks assigned by the site management team. I generally finish work at 4:30 pm unless overtime is available.

Jack: I get to work at 7:30, find out what job I’m on from my supervisor and go to work with a tradesperson or I work by myself depending on the job; they can be quite different so every day is different.

  • What skills or knowledge have you gained since starting your apprenticeship?

Jack: I have developed a sharp eye for detail which allows me to work on more bespoke project.  I now have a better understanding of the drawings and can implement the work needed.

Callum: I have learned various skills in joinery, including flooring, roofs, partitions, doors, windows, and finishings.  Good all-round experience.

  • Is there anything you wish you had known before starting your apprenticeship?

Jack: Everyone in this line of work makes mistakes and not to take these things personally as everything can be fixed.

Callum: I didn’t realise how much was involved in a joiner’s role.  I have now experienced structural alterations, propping and concrete shuttering, along with all the general joinery skills I use every day.

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