Apprentice diaries

We follow the progress of two girls as they make their way through a construction apprentice course.

After more than a year on the course, one apprentice feels she is now finally getting to grips with the business.


I have been at Carlisle since March workling on the Richard Rose Academy, a schools project, and I'm on my last week here before heading to Glasgow. I have enjoyed being at this job and I have done a variety of things. They are all really useful in helping me get to the top of my trade.

A lot of my time I been working with Kev Loughman doing raft ceilings, bulk heads and reveals. He has shown me lots of things. For example, how to build timber balustrades and the correct way to do them. He has also shown me how to set out GypLiner walls and build them. I learnt a lot with him.

Image caption Seeing the site close to complete has brought Katie a sense of fulfilment

Now I am working back with my old mentor Gavin Rae and have moved onto doing metal furring ceilings and helping him set them out. All this stuff would have been like double-dutch to me six months ago.

I have a good site manager Stewie Smart who has looked after me while being on this job.

He has shown me pretty much everything I need to know about drylining and taught me all the wall types and how to read drawings.

Inside knowledge

Stewie took me and two others to British Gypsum where they taught us how to build rafts and how to do grid ceilings in the correct way. They also showed us new materials that they had brought out. We went away with a copy of the British Gypsum White Book. It is like the Bible of drylining and ceilings.

This job is a good site to work on and everyone is friendly and helpful. There are good facilities for women on this site. The food here is very good too.

There are not many days left on this job so there is not much more wall boarding to be done, it is just mainly metal furring ceilings and rafts to be finished. It is moving really fast now and is beginning to look like a finished space. I have been on here since it was just bare concrete slabs. So to see it close to finish now is really good.

Since being at Carlisle I have found the metal furring ceilings to be the most interesting, and I really enjoyed building them. The rafts are interesting too, they have holes in them for the air conditioning and for sound. I also enjoyed learning how to set out and that is an area that I hope to do more of in the future.

Being here has really helped me understand what it takes to work on site and what I still have to learn.

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