Hands-on skills

Infinity Haydon Kirby

While ‘white collar’ apprenticeships are seeing a surge in popularity and now make up the majority on offer, many are still opting for the more traditional route of learning a hands-on trade.

Tate Chennis-Colbran, 17, was the first apprentice to be recruited by estate agent Alexandre Boyes, which is running the programme alongside East Kent College.

By working as part of the property maintenance team, Tate, who lives with his family in Tunbridge Wells, is working towards a GQA Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Building Maintenance Multi-Trade Repair and Refurbishment.

The former to St Gregory’s Catholic School pupil says: “The apprenticeship is such a great opportunity for me and I have already learnt so much.

“I combine full-time work at Alexandre Boyes with a day at college each week. I’m really excited to see what the next year will teach me and I’ll enjoy every second of it.”

Already the scheme has given him experience in the fields of decorating, carpentry, plumbing, groundwork and a host of other trades since he joined in June last year.

Kate Boyes, director in charge of lettings at the company, says: “We are so pleased to be involved in the National Apprenticeship Service and Tate has been a fantastic addition to the team.

“As an industry I would like to see more apprenticeships made available as they offer unique job opportunities and career paths to local young people.

“Alexandre Boyes will be recruiting a second apprentice to join the maintenance team this year as there is a huge demand for skilled tradespeople and I am thrilled that we can work with East Kent College to create these opportunities.”

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