Stay local is the message during National Apprenticeship Week – that’s according to young Lewis Thorpe from Littlethorpe, Leicestershire, 16, who has recently started an apprenticeship in bricklaying with local housebuilder, Jelson homes.
With other Millennials, these days, looking for a career on Instagram or preferring a lie in, Lewis has made the decision to swap his books for bricks in a sector that is set for considerable growth.
And the 16-year old is not the only one to think that learning a trade is the way forward, having seen his Dad, Ian, 47, head to work with a smile on his face at Jelson Homes for the last 30-years.
When it came time to look for an employer, it seemed natural for Lewis to ask his Dad’s advice and join the team.
But the history between the company and family doesn’t just stop there, as it was in fact Lewis’ Grandad who first joined the 125-year old house builder - that’s three-generations of family all linked to this local Leicestershire company.
Lewis, from Littlethorpe, says: “I knew I wanted a good job after school and I was prepared to work hard in all weathers as long as I was able to learn a trade.
“I’m so pleased that Jelson offered me the opportunity to be one of their apprentices, each day is a new learning curve for me and I’m shadowing the best builders in the business.”
While still studying at Leicester College two-days a week, Lewis will be jumping in the car with Dad Ian as they head to work each morning.
Ian says of his son’s decision, “I was over the moon when Lewis asked me if he thought Jelson would take him on as an apprentice.
“With a shortage of houses across the region at the moment, deciding on a career in bricklaying is very savvy of him. I hope he will never be short of work and enjoy his time on the Estley Green development in Broughton Astley. Mind you – I won’t have him call me ‘Dad’ at work!”
Ian started his career at Jelson more than 30-years ago and believes the message is clear, “If you’re going to go in to building make sure you stick with Jelson. That’s what my Dad did, it’s what I’ve done and now my son. “I couldn’t be prouder.”
Award-winning Jelson apprentices lead the way for women in building trades
Release date: 2 March 2019