Apprenticeships are the backbone of the construction industry, passing on crucial skills and knowledge to the next generation of craftspeople.
At Seamans Building we have a mix of talented people with a range of skills, some who joined us as apprentices and some now training apprentices themselves.
Among them is carpenter Neil Honeyball, who has seen his four sons all enter the construction industry, including his youngest who is currently an apprentice carpenter at Seamans.
To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Neil shares his view on what it has been like to see his sons train as apprentices and how important apprenticeships are to the construction industry.
Since joining Seamans, Neil has worked on some of the company’s biggest and most high-profile projects.
Starting as an apprentice carpenter with Seamans in 1986, Neil went self-employed once qualified before returning to the company five years later.
“I ended up running sites,” he said. “And the rest is history.
“I have worked on some amazing projects with Seamans. Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds is among the highlights.
“That was probably the most technical project I have worked on to date – we spent three years on that, it’s probably my flagship project.
“It was an incredible project to work on and we were pleased when that hard work was recognised with a number of awards.
“That was a project I got really engrossed in.”
Neil’s four sons have all entered the construction sector. Three have joined him as carpenters and his oldest works as a heating engineer.
He said it has been great seeing his sons follow in his footsteps.
“My son Max has come to Seamans to do his carpentry apprenticeship and my son Ben also did his apprenticeship with us,” he said.
“Max is getting on really well – he seems to have a real knack for the work.
“My oldest Reece is a heating engineer, working for H2O Plumbers, while my son Adam is a talented carpenter himself too.
“My son Ben, who is also a carpenter, has also worked on projects with Seamans.
“I should really start my own family business!
“It has been great seeing my boys enter the trade – you get to work on some brilliant projects and work with some great people.”
Neil said apprenticeships are a great way to pick up vital skills and earn while you learn.
“Apprentices are not only earning a wage to help them get on with life but also learning vital skills for the future,” he said.
“We need youngsters in the trade to come in and learn. Unfortunately, as a trade, we lose some of the old fraternity each year and it is important these construction skills are passed to the next generation.
“Apprenticeships ensure these important skills and knowledge will never be lost.”