Apprentice Henry Powell greeting other person

Meet Henry Powell, Barratt Homes Apprentice

 Henry is a 17 year old Level 2 Carpentry Apprentice at Barratt Homes and will be progressing on to complete his Level 3 apprenticeship in September 2021. To give you insider knowledge to find out what working at Barratt Homes is really like, we asked Henry:

Why did you choose the apprenticeship route?

I am definitely more practical and although I enjoy learning, being sat in a classroom for a whole day wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. I was ready to leave school and earn some money. An apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to still carry on learning, but using more of my practical skills and I was able to earn money too which is always a bonus.

What is it like working as an apprentice at Barratt Homes?

Being part of the Barratts family is great. You are really well looked after by Site Teams, Subbies and we have a Training & Apprenticeship Manager who is always available to help with anything from college issues to personal problems you might be having. 

Barratts provide you with tools at the beginning to start you on your chosen career path and from then on you are placed with highly skilled tradespeople to learn from. You quickly learn how different it is from school, but it’s a great place to work and the support from school to the workplace is really good. Barratts understand that it can be hard to transition at first and really help you to adjust.

I do all types of carpentry work from first fixes to putting on roofs! It’s very varied and no two days are the same.

What is your favourite project so far?

I am not sure I have just one – I have enjoyed pretty much all projects I do. But I really did enjoy attending a careers event (pre-covid) and being able to show potential new apprentices what I do and tell them all about Barratts and my Apprenticeship. We spent 3 days at Plymouth Pavillions and had a practical area that allowed people to try out some skills. I was really fortunate to show young people from a school where the young people had additional needs how to use a drill and cut some wood. That was really rewarding and I don’t think I will ever forget their faces and how grateful they all were.

What skills have you gained?

I have learnt a lot of practical skills for my trade. But I have also learnt a lot about Health & Safety,  how a construction site works and how houses are built from the foundations through to the final finishes. I have learnt how to work which sounds obvious, but going from school where you are told what time to arrive, have lunch and what lessons to be in, to having to use your initiative, think for yourself and learn new skills is a big change. I think I have gained skills in talking to people from senior managers to customers, as well as being responsible and understanding about being an adult in the working world.

How do you find the work-learn-life balance of an apprenticeship?

It can be hard to slot in college work when you have done a full day at work, but once you get into a routine and get the work complete its ok. You need to remember to gather evidence for your portfolio and upload it to your OneFile and it’s important to remember to make this the norm otherwise you can miss really important evidence. 

We go away to College, all Barratt Apprentices are trained at Stephenson College in Leicester so you go on block weeks and spend time with host families and other apprentices from all over the country. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn together. Plus the College tutors are always on the end of the phone or email to answer questions and help when you come back to your area. I really do enjoy the learning on site and have made new friends. I also enjoy having money to be able to do things that I enjoy outside of work, like I have learnt to drive and saved for a car.

What advice would you give to a young person thinking about an apprenticeship?

Do it! It’s a great way to learn new skills, meet new people and start your journey into the working world.

It can seem a bit daunting at first, but learning and earning is great I would honestly recommend it to anyone.

Any final words?

Construction is a great industry to go into. It doesn’t have to be on the tools there are loads of other jobs that go into building and construction. Have a look at Barratts and what they offer – it’s a great place to work.

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