My business builds oak timber-framed buildings and specialises in structural carpentry. I employ around ten people, depending on the scale of the jobs we’re working on at the time.
As a kid I loved building tool sets, like Meccano and LEGO, and I knew I wanted to be a carpenter from a young age. When I left school I secured a job in Bristol and soon realised that oak frame work was what I wanted to do. I took on a role in a company that offered training and stayed there until I learnt the ropes.
Every day is different, but a normal day for me starts around six-thirty. I get up, walk my dog, have a strong coffee and then go to the yard. The guys and I have a team meeting to look over drawings and then get on with our own tasks, each working our own individual parts of the project.
I was drawn to oak framing because it is a traditional craft that utilises hand tools, so it’s very creative – you’re shaping things with your hands and your mind. With each project, the part I always love most is that you can stand back with the people you worked with and see what you’ve made. When a project is finished we all go to the pub to celebrate and reminisce on our hard work.
Construction is a great industry to be part of. It’s thriving, it’s fun and it’s busy. I get to do what I love and work alongside great people, and I can take my dog to work. I enjoy working the tools and driving trucks. It’s perfect! It also puts food on the table. It means my partner can stay at home and take care of my daughter. Doing this job means we can all have a good life. It’s a lifestyle that I really enjoy, and there’s still time for golf on the weekends.
I’m not surprised when I receive employment enquiries, often from people over thirty. People want to retrain as a carpenter right now and gain that experience. Our generation takes pride in their work – people want to do the best job they can do and share it with others.
I would tell someone looking to get into the industry to find the best training you can, learn as much as you can learn and the money and happiness will come. With this job you’ll have something you can always take with you, even around the world.
Funded through the investment of the CITB levy.