From education to employment

Bricklaying learner building the foundations for the future

Award-winning bricklaying apprentice Joe Potts with Russell Haley from RPH Brickwork

An award-winning bricklaying learner is going from strength to strength after securing an apprenticeship with a bricklaying company based in Blythe Bridge.

Joe Potts, started his apprenticeship with RPH Brickwork, owned by Russell Haley, in April this year, having previously completing work experience with the firm last year.

Joe has recently competed in two national competitions for bricklaying, the national final of the Guild of Bricklaying at Herts Regional College Broxbourne campus plus a third-place finish in the SkillBuild Regional qualifier at Dudley College.

To round off his academic achievements this year, Joe was also crowned Apprentice of the Year at Stoke on Trent College’s Celebrating Success awards, which recognises the achievements of learners from across all course areas.

Russell from RPH Brickwork, also has a special affinity for Stoke on Trent College, having previously studied brickwork and has been running his own bricklaying company for many years. He has also recently joined the Made at Stoke on Trent College alumni; which is a network that champions the work of the college while sharing their own success stories in various walks of business.

Joe Potts, Level 2 Bricklaying apprentice said:

“I was recommended by the college to be an apprentice with RPH Brickwork.

“I started in September but it feels like forever I’ve been working with Russ from RPH. The real-life working environment is different and I’ve learnt so much.”

Russell Haley, Owner of RPH Bricklaying said:

“Joe is a pleasure to work with and a great asset to the team. He appreciates the opportunity he’s been given and is willing to work hard to achieve his goals. Since working with me, Joe now has a good understanding of how to set out and build foundations from scratch.

“He is now confident at transferring levels using a rotary laser level, gauging brick and block measurements to bonds and reading plot specifications/drawings. This is a great experience for Joe and one that’ll set the foundations for his future career in bricklaying.”

Lisa Capper MBE, CEO and Principal said:

“Joe is a fantastic example of how apprenticeships can really enhance a learners experience. As the city’s leading technical college, we pride ourselves on giving learners the right opportunities at the right companies to fit their desired career path.

“It’s also great to see Russell, who has previously studied at Stoke on Trent College, offering apprenticeships to our learners.”

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