Stephen Smyth

Stephen Smyth

“I like building things and doing things with my hands, so it seemed obvious that a trade would be the best route for me when I completed my GCSEs."

“I went along to an Open Evening at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) last March to find out about different apprenticeships and settled on joinery.  Before I did my GCSEs, I telephoned Dougan Contracts Ltd. to find out if there were any opportunities. I applied for an apprenticeship post and I was invited in for an interview and shown about the workshop by Ryan Dougan, one of the owners. I successfully secured a post as Apprentice Joiner at Dougan Contracts Ltd. and started there in August 2023, and in September I started the study, as part of my apprenticeship at SERC. I am in College one day a week and then I'm in work four days."

“At the minute I am helping fit out shops and helping make units in the workshop. I have a mentor in work, Davy, who has vast experience and is great at teaching and passing on his skills. In College every week, I am building on those skills, so you are learning all the time.”

“After my Level 2 I would like to progress onto the Level 3 Apprenticeship.  The plan is to build on my skills and experience and see where that takes me.”

“I am more practical when it comes to learning, so the apprenticeship suits me a lot, and I am enjoying the mix of work and College. There are a few familiar faces from school on my course at College, but I have also made some new friends.”

“I try to think that my priority is learning, and the money is secondary. If I was doing a regular course, I would probably be working part-time in the evenings or at weekends, but with the apprenticeship the work and study is all combined, so I have some free time after work and College.”