how do i start out as a carpenter?

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adampember | 14:23 Wed 19th Sep 2012 | Jobs & Education
8 Answers
I did 3 years in college. 2 years during college i did a carpentry apprenticeship. so i have the qualifications, the company i did my apprenticeship with went bust about 13 months ago so i obviously lost my job. I spent 6 months out of employment and unfortunately after applying for numerous carpentry job vacancies by either sending a cv or calling employers nobody would give me a chance and take me on. they all seemed to want some one with more experience and someone with all their own tools which i only have a few basic tools. i havnt got the money to buy all the tools that id need and i havnt got a van. although i have got a small car. Eventually i had enough of being a job seeker and started applying for various different jobs. i then got 1 working for minimum wage full time in a local factory. i don't mind the job, i get on well with everyone there and the supervisors & managers like me but its not what i aspire to do with my life and i don't want to be in a minimum wage Job all my life. I've been there 7 months and almost saved £2k do i spend all this money to kit myself out with tools and perhaps get a van and hope that an employer will then take me on or would that be too much of a waste if an employer still wouldn't offer me a job. (im 20 and living at home with parents)


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Keep saving your money. Mr Alba is an experienced joiner/ceiling fixer and was made redundant 2 years ago.
Construction industry is on its knees and not looking promising anytime soon.
Have you thought about maybe free-lancing whilst keeping your existing job?
Hang a door for a neighbour for example?
It's dreadful when there's youngsters like you with get up and go and nowhere to get to. It won't always be this way though.
I second what Alba said. Could you put cards in local shop windows to try and find small one-off jobs?
Being in the trade myself, I just wanted to add my best wishes.
It's patchy. There are plenty of parts of the country where tradesmen are busy........... but, I'm talking mainly of the self-employed variety.

I just tagged along with a one-man jobbing builder many years ago to learn from the basics upwards. Keep "in the loop". You may be able to find the odd day helping several different guys out.
You have a good attitude. You'll do fine...... you just need to get the first foot on the ladder ........ lierally
Good luck
........ ahem ............. ^^^^ "literally"
Try your local council or Manpower who manage parks & trees. Ours make garden furniture for sale.

Put your business card into B&Q & DIY shops for staff to pass on to customers.

Advertise yourself in shop windows. Put flyers on parked cars etc. Good luck.
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If you want to be a 'shuttering carpenter' or 'chippy' on site all you need is a hammer&saw. Most drills,power tools etc. are supplied.
Optional extras: good belt,pouch,tape measure,stanley knife,nail bar & spirit level.
The last 2 are pretty essential but as with all tools,buy cheap stuff as they tend to get shared,borrowed,bust & lost. A string line, plumb bob, spanners etc. All cheap & leave every-thing. In car boot except hammer & saw until you see what sort of job you're put to.
Wages £12/£14ph (down from £20+a few years ago)Better than min
wage & as you can save money on minimum wage you'll have your own firm in no time.
Now google 'INDEED' job search site & join. In no time you'll be offered 3 or 4 jobs a week. Some are just agencies touting for names but no harm in them having
Your number. Don't send CV or any crap like that.Don't say you got no experience. Be confident.Make it sound like you're doing them a favour working for them.
You're 20 yrs old, at your physical peak. You got a car/driving licence. (Massive plus) you got a stable, comfortable home life. You speak English.
I kid you not there'll be people going for these jobs with no tools, no car,no home & can't speak English so think how lucky you are & the head start you got.
Unfortunately you must have a CSCS card today.if you have'nt got one.Bad news/cost you £80. Good news.A monkey could pass the so called test. What's the point of them? No idea. Go in for G.O (general operative)card not tradesmans or you'll get ripped off even worse by them in future. You'd prob get hard hat/high viz etc supplied but chuck some in boot just in case.Ideally you'll soon 'pal up' with more experienced type/ possible non driver who'll look out for you.
Anyway good luck & keep us informed. Minimum wage is crap &
Employers who pay it don't care about you.
Attitude will always win over aptitude...push yourself Adam and dont be put off.Some of the richest people started out with nothing...and you have a head start.Things will get better.

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