Name: Julian Phillips

Apprenticeship Type: Carpentry

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I was given the chance to be an apprentice carpenter studying at Exeter College and “working in the trade” with Exeter City Council back in 1989!

I was trained locally, still work locally. I’m proud to have continued my career in Construction and Asset Management and now to be supporting the industry and young people locally through the Building Greater Exeter programme. 

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship? 

I had a real passion for woodwork so obtaining good grades in carpentry and joinery proved important. At the time apprenticeships were under the YTS scheme, and were very popular by offering some great opportunities.

You have to build your portfolio brick by brick – whether through qualifications, experience or networking. 

 What’s the most rewarding part of being an apprentice? 

Best memory – working for the first year in the joinery workshop on Marsh Barton, with a team of joiners, making windows and doors for installation at local council buildings.   

Enjoyed making a difference to the lives of the residents when carrying out repairs and helping them to enjoy their homes.  Few industries truly make a difference within the community, and the construction sector is one of those sectors. As a trade person, you are career-ready and are upskilling every day. Whether you’re working as an apprentice, you have tangible skills that enable you to start working right away

Would you recommend and apprenticeship to others and why? 

The skills you learn whilst being an apprentice prepares you for working in the construction industry.  Those vital skills will keep you an employable and valuable member of the workforce.