Love the idea of creating something out of nothing? That’s exactly what joiners do every day – they take raw materials and turn them into something beautiful with skilled craftsmanship and careful labour.
Find out how you can become a joiner (and earn while you learn) with one of the apprenticeships below.
Jobs in joinery
A joiner is a skilled craftsperson who uses materials like wood and metal to build furniture, structures and objects. You could work on homes or construction sites, and it’s a labour-intensive and active job that requires a lot of heavy lifting and time on your feet.
Although the two roles are similar, a carpenter isn’t totally the same as a joiner. While a joiner crafts the items (e.g., window frames and doors), a carpenter is the one who fits them. Becoming highly skilled in both disciplines will help boost your CV and put you in a better position to take on more work.
In this role, you’ll have all the same responsibilities as a joiner but specialise in restoring old and damaged items. For example, you might manipulate wood to replicate the look of a really old bookshelf or create custom fittings in a grade-I listed home.
Some joiners are experts in installing bathrooms or kitchens, and you’ll usually work in a team to remove old units. Plus, you can expand your skillset to plastering, tiling, painting and even plumbing.
Apprenticeships in joinery
You’ll see loads of Level 2 carpentry and joinery apprenticeships on the gov.uk website. The programmes are 24 months long, and there are hundreds of locations across the UK.
Nationally recognised joinery and hardware vendor Howdens has over 800 locations across the UK and Europe. Choose from a range of joinery and kitchen design apprenticeships, and look forward to a long-term career at Howdens after.
Halton Housing is a company that has over 7,000 homes for sale or rent across Cheshire and the Northwest. If you live in these areas, take a look at their Carpentry and Joinery Apprenticeship, which pays an awesome £22,822 per year.
Property construction business Seddon has 600 employees across the North West and the Midlands. You’ll need five GCSEs and two A Levels (with good grades!) or the equivalent Level 3 BTEC to apply, and you’ll earn a Level 3 Joinery Apprenticeship at the end.
Home construction company Taylor Wimpey has Level 2 and Level 3 trade apprenticeships that last between three and five years. The best trainees will secure a reliable job at Taylor Wimpey, where you’ll be working on-site alongside expert craftspeople.
There are three different apprenticeships on offer at the British Woodworking Federation: Carpentry and Joinery (Level 2), Advanced Carpentry and Joinery (Level 3) and Wood Product Manufacturing (Level 2). Each course teaches you the ins and outs of wood manufacturing and how to use it for complex constructions.
English and maths GCSEs are essential requirements; ideally, you’ll have at least a grade 4. Joinery is all about precision and craftsmanship, so you can tell future employers about your creative skills, too. Studying art or graphic design at GCSE level? Put it in your application!
Working on a construction site can be very challenging – you’ll have to commute to work, and you might be out in all weathers, all day. To succeed at a joinery apprenticeship, you need a positive and motivated attitude, which will help you take a proactive approach to your daily workload. Remember that joinery apprenticeships aren’t looking for candidates with loads of prior work experience – they’re looking for people who can be a business asset in the future.
Loads of other disciplines have compatible skillsets with joinery, like plumbing and painting. After you’ve completed a joinery apprenticeship, why not ask your employer about further learning and development opportunities so you can expand your knowledge? The more you can do, the more prepared you’ll be to advance your career and even transition to self-employment in the future.
Carve out your future with a joinery apprenticeship
A joinery career provides you with a never-ending list of skills to practice and perfect, and an apprenticeship gives you the support you need to get started.
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Reckon you know what you want to do, but can’t find the perfect role? Most companies hire their apprentices in a ‘recruitment window’. This means many great jobs are only available for a short time once or twice each year.
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