A 31-year-old mum from Mostyn is among three students who have been taken on by a painting and decorating company following a successful work placement. The trio of Coleg Cambria pupils worked on several Wynne Construction sites across North Wales with Flint-based subcontractor Curtis Painting Group, formerly called JE Curtis.
Lucy Davies becomes the firm’s first female employee, while Jodie Challinor, 17, from Connah’s Quay, and Josh Coley, 17, who lives in Bagillt, have joined as apprentices. And Lucy is thrilled to have found immediate success after finishing her level 1 and 2 diploma in painting and decorating. She said: “I have always been a hands-on person and decided to go for it by learning a trade. Generally, the reaction of being a female and going into a trade has been brilliant and people are pleased for me and have provided a lot of encouragement. I’ve really enjoyed my time working out on site and it was such a crucial part to help with my development. I actually find painting and decorating to be relaxing.
“Our activities included rubbing down walls, rolling, and glossing, which I was a bit nervous about because it’s the more skilled and delicate process which gives the finish on the job, but I did great. It’s amazing to have secured a role with Curtis Painting Group and I have to thank them, Coleg Cambria, and Wynne Construction for this opportunity.”
Graham Lawrence, contracts manager at Curtis Painting Group, said: “All the reports from site about Lucy, Jodie, and Josh were very good, and it was an easy decision to offer them the opportunity to continue with us following the completion of their studies. I know it’s not common for females to be in a trade, but I hope that’s changing because Lucy has been fantastic and I’m sure she will fit right in.
“We are big fans of apprenticeships and Jodie and Josh will be excellent additions to our team as they continue to learn more about the industry.”
The students worked on a number of Wynne Construction projects including Ysgol Carreg Emlyn, Ysgol Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, both based near Ruthin, and Ysgol Penyffordd, Flintshire. Wynne Construction works closely with Coleg Cambria to arrange placements and then liaise with subcontractors to see if they have the capacity to take them on.
Joe Hackney, who joined Wynne Construction as a trainee site manager after a successful work placement, said: “It’s important to have people trying to get into the industry on site as it gives them the opportunity to supplement their classroom learning with practical experience. They all received very positive feedback and the fact they have all secured roles with Curtis Painting Group speaks volumes about the impact of the work placements.”
Keith Massey, tutor at Coleg Cambria, added: “All three did well on the course and completed their activities well. It’s vital we continue to have strong relationships with the business community, as is evidenced by the success Lucy, Jodie, and Josh have had and thanks to their work on Wynne Construction-managed schemes.”