Celebrating its apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week

09 February 2021

Celebrating its apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week

Larkfleet celebrates its apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week

Larkfleet is passionate about supporting and training young people and helping to launch their careers in the construction industry. 

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and one of Larkfleet’s apprentices, Lauren Bartle, shares her experiences of working as a Joinery Apprentice for Larkfleet Homes and the benefits it has brought her. 

Lauren Bartle, Joinery Apprentice, said: “I first started my Joinery Apprenticeship at Larkfleet Homes in 2019 with a great deal of ambition to learn and develop my knowledge. Being a woman in the construction industry is not easy and Larkfleet was the first company where I felt I was accepted and treated equally, and it has been a great place to learn and show that I am just as capable as anyone else.

“My role involves a whole host of tasks, broadly consisting of assisting our sub-contractors, sourcing materials, fitting skirting boards, assisting my site manager with preparing homes for the Construction Management Organisation (CMO) inspection and supporting the team with any work that needs completing. I also help homeowners with requests such as changing their kitchen handles. 

“I take every opportunity I can to learn as much as possible on-site. My goal is to become a site manager one day, so I make sure to ask my site manager lots of questions to learn about the different aspects of his role. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to shadow him for a full week and I learned so much during this time, from how we manage our sub-contractors to how we work with and run the Larkfleet team. I now proactively spend time each week after I finish work in his office to absorb the sorts of conversations and decisions that are made.

“Working on all stages of the build process, from the very beginning constructing the timber frames, through to adding the finishing touches of the final product, has helped me to understand the detail of the development process and provided me with valuable first-hand experience. This breadth of experience has also furthered my passion for the industry and I now have a more rounded comprehension of how these different elements of the business fit together, knowing not just the ‘what’ but the ‘why’ we do what we do, which means I can complete my work to the highest quality.

“As part of my apprenticeship, I am also completing my NOCN C Skills Awards Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations (Construction) in Site Carpentry, studying one day a week at Grantham College. Within the qualification, we cover many different topics such as health and safety, first fix, second fix and structural carcassing. Studying at college has helped me on-site, for example, knowing the organisational procedures of the company has helped me to understand the protocol of reporting damaged materials.

“One of my favourite parts of the apprenticeship is seeing projects all the way through from the beginning to the end and seeing buyers enjoy their brand-new homes which I have helped to create. I love knowing that I have been part of the team that has ensured their houses consist of high-quality construction and are long-lasting homes for their owners. As my confidence in myself and my craft has grown, so has my responsibility and I am now trusted to work within the show homes and occupied homes alone. 

“Overall, apprenticeships are a fantastic way to not only hone your craft and gain valuable practical experience but also develop an understanding of the sector and how businesses operate at all levels. According to research carried out by Women in Construction in 2018, across the construction industry, the ratio of men to women is 87:13 and only 9% of apprenticeships are women. I want to show and encourage other women who are thinking of beginning a career in construction that they can do it and it's possible to thrive with the right company!”