Didac’s first home-grown Woodworking Machinery Trainer 

Understanding an apprenticeship in Furniture & Wood Manufacturing Jack shares his ambition to become Didac’s first Woodworking Machinery Trainer

Jack is a furniture and wood trainer at the Woodwise Academy in Bristol, where he is completing a Level 3 apprenticeship in Wood Machining.

Please tell us about your apprenticeship and why you have chosen this career.

After I left school at 16, I was unsure of my career path. It was recommended that I contact Didac, which I did, and they invited me to look around their Woodwise Academy. Straight away, I knew I wanted to attend. I attended three days per week and completed a Level 2 diploma in furniture making using hand skills.

During the course, my trainers gave me some experience in using portable power tools and full woodworking machines. As I progressed through the course, I began to have a massive interest in wood machining, which included setting up, operating, cleaning, maintaining and the mechanics of the machines. After completing the Level 2 diploma, I had the opportunity to apply for a Level 2 apprenticeship in Wood Machining as Didac’s own apprentice. I was successful with my application.

During my two years of training, I was given the opportunity to help out on the courses that took place at the Academy, including the Level 2 Diploma course, which I had just finished. I liked being able to help others and support the trainers delivering the courses. This was noticed at Didac.

After completing my Level 2 Apprenticeship, I was able to take on a role as a trainer, whilst doing a Level 3 in Wood Machining, which I am completing now. My day can vary between working on the laptop doing admin and running a machining course and delivering a furniture course.

How did you find your apprenticeship?

I heard about my apprenticeship whilst on the Level 2 diploma at Didac. This has allowed me to complete more apprenticeship programmes.

How is your apprenticeship being delivered?

My training is delivered by Didac trainers. I have one day per week to learn as well as having practical training with my trainer once a month. In between, I am given
practical training and work tasks to gain knowledge and experience, which makes up 20% off-the-job training.

What are your career goals?

I am now 19, and my goal is to continue at Didac, learning more and more from all the trainers and continuing to progress. My ambition is to become Didac’s first home-grown Woodworking Machinery Trainer to deliver commercial work-based training and apprenticeship training. This will take time to achieve but given a couple more years, I should accomplish that.

To help me become a teacher, I am also studying for a Level 4 qualification in education and training. Becoming a Didac trainer would be a significant achievement for someone in their early 20’s.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work, my goal is to travel and see different parts of the world. Some of my greatest achievements so far are making home furniture, winning a lot of leagues and cups with my football team and losing a lot of weight when I was younger, starting weight training and going to the gym.

Finally, what would your advice to students and parents be about apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are a very good way to learn, where you gain a highly respected qualification at the end. I would highly recommend apprenticeships for anyone who wants to learn and open a door to a career afterwards.