Carpenter from Cheltenham wins national Apprentice of the Year

A carpenter from Gloucestershire has scooped Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards in London — and hopes her win will inspire more women into trade careers.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
Amy Brown, a carpentry apprentice at Tombs Developments in Cheltenham, hopes her win at the National Apprenticeship Awards will inspire more women to enter trade jobs.

Amy Brown, a female carpentry apprentice with building contractors Tombs Developments, based in Charlton Kings in Cheltenham, has won the coveted Apprentice of the Year Award at a ceremony in London.

The National Apprenticeship Awards winner, who is in the second year of her apprenticeship with Tombs, was recruited with no prior industry experience and has seen her skills and craftmanship develop rapidly through the scheme.

Having completed her A levels and after trying out a number of different jobs, Amy decided she wanted to qualify in a trade and learn skills on the job.

She learnt carpentry skills and craftmanship at Gloucestershire College's purpose-built workshops, applying her skills on the job during her work for Tombs.

She works on anything from skirting and reinforcing timber structures to replacing porch posts and complete restoration projects.

Amy said: 'I am very proud to have won the Amazon Intermediate Apprentice of the Year title. It’s an experience I will never forget. 

'It’s so important we get more females in construction. After finishing school, I didn’t think it was an option for a girl to do a trade, as A levels and universities are traditionally pushed as a better route, ignoring some other students’ natural abilities.

'I hope maybe one girl will see this and realise she can start a career in trade, too, with an apprenticeship. And then she will inspire another girl, who will inspire another and the domino effect will finally get more women in construction.'

Dominic Cook, director at Tombs Developments, said: 'We are so proud of Amy becoming a national apprentice of the year and for all that she has achieved since joining Tombs Developments.

'She is a highly valuable member of our small team. Being able to trust Amy to work independently and to a good standard is a huge bonus to us as employers. Amy embodies the concept that hard work and dedication really do pay off.'

Sam Olaleye, training coordinator at Gloucestershire College, said: 'I am absolutely buzzing with pride! Seeing Amy achieve the National Apprentice of the Year Award in London was incredible. She has worked so hard!

'It's a pleasure being her training coordinator and encouraging her throughout her studies at Gloucestershire College. Mentoring young people beginning to end, the highs and the lows, is what it's all about.'

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