Holmesfield-based British Woodworking Federation member, Tom Pearson & Sons, champions #NationalApprenticeshipWeek

Nearly two years ago, William Wragg took the plunge and left sixth form to begin an apprenticeship at joinery firm Tom Pearson & Sons. Since then he has developed essential skills and a passion for woodworking that has put him on track for a rewarding and successful career.

Nicholas Pearson, William’s employer, champions apprenticeships as the best way of supporting young and talented people entering the industry, while allowing joinery businesses to showcase the diverse career opportunities available.

William and Nicholas share the stories behind their passion for the woodworking industry and explain how they believe apprenticeships provide a route into a rewarding and diverse career.

A job full of satisfaction

Apprentice William Wragg joined fourth-generation family firm Tom Pearson & Sons in 2018 when he decided that continuing in education at his secondary school sixth form wasn’t the path he wanted to take. William said, “After starting sixth form and studying for A Levels I found that it wasn’t for me and I didn’t enjoy it, so during my first year I decided to look into apprenticeships.

“I grew up on a farm where I helped out doing odd jobs where I could, and I found I really enjoyed the bits of woodworking that I got to do. I got in touch with my local joinery firm, Tom Pearson & Sons, to see if they had any apprenticeship spaces coming up, and after a successful trial I was hired.”

William combines his practical hands-on apprenticeship at Tom Pearson & Sons, which specialises in bespoke joinery products and heritage and conversation projects, with college one day a week and is currently working towards his Architectural Joinery Level 2 qualification.

Discussing why he entered the woodworking and joinery manufacturing industry, he explained, “There’s something special about woodworking and joinery, you get to see a project from start right through to finish. From a plain piece of timber, you create a beautiful moulded shape or finished product that you can be proud of.

“Other times you’re restoring historic features. I recently worked on the restoration of two big arch stained-glass windows, and it was really rewarding to turn something that had been left to rot into a window that looks new and in a great condition. It’s a really satisfying job.”

Nicholas Pearson is the director of the company and part of the business’s founding family. But like William, joining the industry wasn’t always his plan. As he explains: “After working with my father in the workshop when I was younger, I took a different career path to work in sales for the heating industry. I worked in this role for a while but would always drive past a timber door I had made when previously working with my father. I remember thinking ‘wow, I made that’, and after a while realised that woodworking was my passion and that I wanted to work for the family firm.

Advertisement

“That’s the fantastic draw of being a woodworker or joiner - you get to see and be proud of what you’ve made and even 20 years later, the wooden door is still there!”

Discussing William’s progress since joining the company, Nicholas said, “William has fully embraced our ethos to produce high quality bespoke joinery, offering his thoughts on how we can improve and work more efficiently. A real achievement is that, for our door manufacturing, he recently set up an overhead router to allow the multipoint lock and keeps to be fitted flush without needing to manually chop any of the casement or frame. This saved many hours of labour, so helped to improve job efficiency, which is great both for the business and the end customer.

“William has been fantastic, he’s worked on everything we’ve thrown at him - bespoke front door sets, sliding sash windows, traditional casement windows - and turned his hand to everything so far. It was brilliant to see him nominated at the national 2019 BWF Awards for Apprentice of the Year.”

Apprentices are the future

William is the second apprentice that Tom Pearson & Sons has supported, and the company believes the approach is vital for the future of the profession. Nicholas said,

“Apprentices are needed by our industry to bring in new talent and to allow them to train in a hands-on environment. It can be difficult for firms looking for high calibre apprentices, but with the British Woodworking Federation’s positive work in showcasing the industry to students, and apprentices like William who have a real passion for the industry, I look forward to welcoming the next generation of talent to our business and the sector as a whole.”

This is a view endorsed by William himself, who added, “I think there are students out there interested in an apprenticeship in woodworking and joinery, but there needs to be more awareness, especially of the hands-on apprenticeship route. Although studying full-time at college can be good for some, learning the practical side of the craft on the job means that you learn a lot more and that you have the skills employers are looking for once you’ve completed your apprenticeship.”

Tom Pearson & Sons is just one of many British Woodworking Federation (BWF) members that support the future of the woodworking and joinery manufacturing industry by providing apprentices with a positive environment and the right skills and training for them to progress into a successful career.

Helen Hewitt, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation said,

“Apprenticeships are the stepping-stone into our industry, and are essential for recruiting the next generation of talented individuals to our creative profession.

“We work closely with our members, education partners and other stakeholders to maintain and develop apprenticeship standards to ensure that they remain fit-for-purpose. This approach is vital as innovative new technologies and manufacturing techniques continue to place new demands on skills, training and continuous development in the sector.

“The BWF’s work on apprenticeship standards is part of a wider approach to skills and training that we’ll be placing a major focus on in 2020 and beyond, targeting three key areas – talent attraction, apprenticeships and leadership development. Through the upcoming launch of our new education programme, WOW I MADE THAT!, aimed at inspiring students in Years 9-12 to get into woodworking, we continue to champion apprenticeships as the next step on a positive and progressive route to a rewarding and diverse career.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

Kerry Boffey added a new event 11 hours

Introduction to Fellowship of Inspection Nominees

Join Kerry Boffey, founder of the Fellowship of Inspection Nominees (fin) for an informal session outlining fin support available to providers in...

  • Tuesday, 14 July 2020 02:00 PM
  • On-line. Longdon Hall, Longdon on Tern
Kerry Boffey - updated event, Safeguarding Masterclass 11 hours 17 minutes ago

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page