Apprentice painter and decorator, 17-year-old Harvey Ashworth has an ambition to launch his own business and will show off some of his skills when he met Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert yesterday (Thursday, May 1).
Harvey was a full-time painting and decorating student at Cambridge Regional College before starting his apprenticeship with Prime Finish in Victoria Road four months ago.
He met Julian as part of the MP’s monthly initiative Celebrating Apprenticeships which aims to recognise the apprenticeship programmes on offer in the city and the youngsters benefitting from the training.
Harvey said: “I always knew I wanted to be an apprentice and I really enjoy it.
“It is an advantage having been to CRC first, and coming back in to college one day a week is very useful – we have theory as well as practical sessions so I’m learning at college as well as at work. You do more technical stuff at college which I might not be using now but will need one day.
“My boss Matt teaches me how to do things his way. He lets me have a go at everything and it is very hands-on, which I like. Earning money as an apprentice is also good – it gives you an extra incentive.
“I’m planning to do a Level 3 apprenticeship when I finish my Level 2 – I like the progression there is with an apprenticeship. My ambition is to be a successful painter. I’d quite like to see myself opening up my own business one day.”
John Malone, head of construction and engineering at Cambridge Regional College has encouraged employers to recruit apprentices, warning there is a danger of a skills shortage in the industry if not enough people are trained.
“Harvey is a great example of the advantages of employing an apprentice who has already learnt the basics of his craft at college on a full time course,” he said. “It means that from day one he can be useful to the employer and already has a good understanding of the trade.
“Businesses benefit from employing an apprentice and it’s the right time for companies in the construction sector to follow the example of Prime Finish.
“The industry is growing rapidly right now, but there’s a danger of a skills shortage if we don’t train enough young people to fill the roles that will be needed.
“It’s a great time to come to college to learn to be part of the future workforce in the sector and it’s a great time for construction employers to invest in apprentices to help grow their businesses and meet future workload demand.”
Julian said: “I’m delighted to see that the construction industry is picking up and companies like Prime Finish are able to offer apprenticeships to young people like Harvey.
“Harvey is learning hugely valuable skills and getting paid at the same time which is one of the many benefits of the apprenticeship programme. It’s also good to see he has ambitions to be his own boss one day. I wish him every success.
“And I hope other companies will follow Prime Finish’s lead and discover the benefits apprentices can bring to their businesses. The programme offers the chance to train young people in exactly the skills needed for a particular business.”