My name is Ryan Winter and I am a Mason/Carpenter working on the National Trust Killerton Estate near Exeter, although there such a variety of work here there isn’t much I don’t do. This is my third apprenticeship as I was previously made redundant twice. I worked as a bricklayer, municipal engineer, HGV mechanic and general builder before my apprenticeship with the National Trust.
Initially I was approached by my previous Apprenticeship Officer who said there was an apprenticeship opening, he didn’t say where but I just wanted to get back into the trade so I said I was interested. This led to me having an interview and getting the job. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I can honestly say that there has not been a single day where I have regretted joining the scheme.
I have been lucky enough to have had experience in site work as well as for the National Trust. The differences between the two are huge. The training opportunities here are second to none. It’s an excellent place to learn a trade simply because of the variation in the work. You develop the skill to be able to overcome problems and work as a team. I personally prefer a variety of work, for example yesterday I was painting timber work on a gable end and today I have been rebuilding a chimney.
Recently I have been working on a telephone box. I had to strip it back to bare metal inside and out. Masking tape up 72 panes of glass inside and out and repaint the whole thing. Even the gold crowns on each side which was very difficult.
I can’t think of one bad point about my job here……..I suppose some of the farms we work on smell a bit but other than that nothing. I would say to anyone looking to apply, it’s one of the best decisions you could make.