Dan Traymen, 25, from Farnham, said the accolade was totally unexpected but he was thrilled to have been chosen out of 110 entrants for the award.
Dan attends the college one day a week to study carpentry but spends the other four days on site at residential housing development Edenbrook in Fleet.
Dan and his younger brother are both Carpentry Apprentices at the college and work for NRT Carpentry Contractors, owned by their father, based in Badshot Lea.
Dan began his career as a journalist after completing a degree at Southampton Solent University but didn’t find it as fulfilling as he hoped. He said: “I started working for a publisher but it wasn’t really what I wanted and I wasn’t particularly enjoying it.
“Despite my dad running the company, I had not had a go at carpentry before – it had never even crossed my mind.” While thinking about his next move, Dan decided to start labouring for his father’s company and found he really enjoyed it.
“When I first started it, I was totally green. I was a bit slow getting it at first but I really enjoyed doing the physical work on site. It’s hard work and precision work but I really enjoy it. Both myself and my brother started the course at Farnborough College of Technology at the same time. We have good teachers and a lot of time to develop.
“We are based at the Aldershot campus – where all the trade courses are taught so it’s a specialist site. They have everything you need in a workshop environment and you learn skills that transfer directly onto site. The tutors are all experienced in their own right and are always there to support you.
“I think being an apprentice is a great way to learn a trade. You’re already doing the job but getting a qualification and getting paid at the same time.”
Berkeley Homes run their own awards scheme for all the trades they employ and Dan said he was encouraged to put in an application for Carpentry Apprentice of the Year. He said he didn’t think any more of it and was delighted and shocked when his name was called out at a company dinner.
“I didn’t even know I’d been shortlisted! It was totally unexpected. I was really happy but I think my dad was even more happy!” Dan said he applauds Berkeley Homes’ efforts to encourage young people to take up apprenticeships. “I think they are keen to dispel the myth of construction being dirty work out in the cold and dark.
“I think it’s important for people who aren’t sure of what they want to do to realise that learning a trade is a lucrative and enjoyable career. You earn good money and you learn skills for life that you can take all around the world if you want. Anything is possible.”
Find out more about how to become an apprentice here.
For more about employing an apprentice here.