|The view from the apprentices'|
For me this apprenticeship is everything I need and it just seemed to fall into place. There is the perfect mix of independent and team work and a brilliant sense of satisfaction. I think some people are put off by the sound of an apprenticeship because the pay is lower and it sounds like a perfect opportunity to be ripped of by an employer. But here at Pioneer they have been very professional in terms of my training, arranging what I will be doing in a such way that there is maximum benefit to me as well as to them.
|Tariq, posing with his file|
I do eight hours of lessons a week with John: two morning and two afternoon sessions, half theory and half practical. I find that these take away any feeling of monotony in the laying-up (cold-moulding) work which can be a little repetitive if there's nothing in between. The challenge of the cold-moulding is fitting each plank to the right size, not covering myself with glue and then finding my way around all the different tools and machinery and such like. The lessons are the other side which might feel irrelevant until a certain moment and then every thing you've learned intertwines to make the job a whole lot easier.
The team here have made me feel very welcome and I have already made good friends. This type of work allows you to choose whether you want to socialise or stick some earplugs in and ignore the world (as long as you get the work done). I agree with what Abbey said about 'healthy banter'. It's never unkind and people will soon lay off if they see that you're not in the mood. Personally I enjoy it. The workshop atmosphere makes it really easy to get to know one another and it never feels awkward to ask for help.
|Battening applied to hold down the|
second skin while the glue dries
|Progress on the gig|
Tariq is 18. He took A levels in Economics, Sociology and Psychology and was all set to continue on the academic path and study Osteopathy at university after taking a gap year. He has no background in boats though he'd often wondered what it would be like to go sailing. It was the experience of building his tool box to bring to the interview that first made him realise how much he enjoys working with his hands. (JJ)
|Tariq's tool box -|
only a saw and a sledgehammer so far