Luke Hitchman started as one of E G Carter & Co Ltd's carpentry apprentices. This is Luke's Journey:

"I started working with E G Carter & Co Ltd in 2013 as a general operative, and whilst I enjoyed this role and took it very seriously, it was always my ambition to learn a trade and develop through completing an apprenticeship.

In 2014 I started my carpentry apprenticeship with E G Carter & Co Ltd. For 1 day a week I attended Gloucestershire College studying Carpentry and Joinery Level 2 along with my day to day work on-site. I was paired up with one of the more experienced tradesmen, Terry Ballantine, and we quickly formed a good working relationship. Throughout my first year I worked closely with Terry on projects such as a nursery extension, primary school WC refurbishment, and a country house renovation. Due to my lack of ability and experience the first few months I was primarily overserving and completing basic and menial tasks. As my ability and confidence grew I was able to begin to apply what I had learnt at college into my on-site work, and as my relationship with Terry developed I was trusted to gradually complete more and more challenging tasks.

During my second year I was able to fulfil a much more active role on-site. I had purchased a large amount of my own tools and kit, and along with the training I had received I felt I began to really contribute to the projects I worked on. One of the highlights of this year was working on a roof on a new build rugby club, where I really felt part of the team and no longer the site apprentice. The positive feedback I received from those I worked with gave me a confidence boost and completing my Level 2 course I felt a real sense of achievement.

In September 2016 I commenced my Level 3 course at Gloucestershire College and in turn was given added responsibility on-site. I again added to my tools which ensured that when the opportunities arose to complete work on-site I was able to do so. During this year I worked on refurbishment and extension projects, and during the roofing works I was able to use my previous experiences to pre-empt issues and even take the lead on certain aspects of the project. Being trusted to attend site on my own and report directly to the site manager further illustrated my progression, although I continued to work well with Terry and enjoyed this experience, being able to attend sites on my own was really satisfying. I was extremely happy to complete my Level 3 and be offered a permanent contract with E G Carter in August 2017.

My aims for the future are to continue to keep learning and gaining experiences on the wide range of projects I work on. I have reached a stage where I know what I am good at and feel confident in. I am also fully aware of weaknesses and where I feel I would like to improve. Over the course of time and when I feel I have the required experience I would like to be given to take the lead with carpentry on-site, being the primary point of contact for the site manager for all carpentry related works, and eventually be trusted with my own modest project to run myself."