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Mark18PLL

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Not sure if anyone can give me any tips or guidance and apologies if it is not relevant to this forum.

I am currently studying a City and Guilds level 2 Site Carpentry Diploma. I am 47, wanted a career change and was really drawn to it. Now i am starting to move through the course i decided to look into my CSCS card and have since found that the course i am currently doing is not actually recognised by them and i would have to complete an NVQ Diploma Level 2 in Site Carpentry. I am quite gutted as i was really hoping to make this work, i did speak to my college at first (when enrolling) regarding an apprenticeship but was told employers really want young kids. I understand this but unfortunately it just puts up another barrier for someone my age.

Has anyone else managed to do this and make it work and have any tips or advise.

Thank you in advance

Mark
 

Bm101

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Hi Mark, I can't give any trade advice but it might well help those that can offer real experience if you begin by explaining what sort of work you are interested in doing or think will pay the best depending on your view of necessity. A shuttering carpenter working on formers for concrete pouring on building sites? Kitchen fitting for the domestic market? Making bespoke furniture?
You might find it better to try to get experience with a smaller company that might not need paper qualifications just an assurance that you will work hard and learn fast on a realistic payscale as you 'grow'. Might be worth ringing around some local companies and having a chat. You never know, if you have the right attitude and click with someone similar willing to take a chance it could get you working faster than a diploma.
I get a lot of people coming up to me on the street when I have finished abseiling a drop in my harness and helmet and they ask me questions like ' that looks exciting! How do I do that for a job?' I say come back in February when its 4am and it's snowing and see how exciting it seems then. You can tell the ones who are real or might have a chance at standing it very easily.

Not trying to be snarky at all, just trying to help a little. Lot of us are trapped in the wage trap. Very best of luck to you for trying to make it work.
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
Take no notice, ur quite young......
U'll find ur own way.....nay sayer's are a plenty......
I'm 71 and still do a days work......
go with ur dreams....
the hardest job is the first one.....do ur best and more work will follow.....
Get what quals u can but start finding ur own work...plenty of spinsters need a new gate etc......
Site work is carp...I always hated it.....the mud the blood and no beer.....hahaha...
I've got lots of quals but nobody ever asked for them.....
my last job I was responsible for a £40++ million project.....
Most importantly enjoy what ur doing.....get out there and look for the work, nothing wrong with doing small jobs.....
 

Mark18PLL

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Thank you for taking the time to reply, it is very much appreciated.

In my mind i was thinking i can do some work on my own and then if things dry up i could then look at some site work to keep me going. I love working with wood and have already completed a level 2 furniture making course but this was more as a hobby and something else i like doing.

I could carry on with furniture making but in realty i don't have the space and tools to make it work properly.
 
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HOJ

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I would suggest you are well ahead of the game if you've done a course in furniture making already, stick with the course you are doing, I know of a few "Chippy s" that have done an NVQ and as we say "I wouldn't let them build me a rabbet hutch"

There will be plenty of opportunities without the need for a CSCS card, so don't worry.
 

marcros

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Thank you for taking the time to reply, it is very much appreciated.

In my mind i was thinking i can do some work on my own and then if things dry up i could then look at some site work to keep me going. I love working with wood and have already completed a level 2 furniture making course but this was more as a hobby and something else i like doing.

I could carry on with furniture making but in realty i don't have the space and tools to make it work properly.
what space and tools do you have? Peter Millard's YouTube channel is inspirational in many ways and that and posts on here show what can be achieved in a small workshop. Peter has been at it for several years, but if you watch the videos you will see that much of the work is straightforward given some thought. You will gain experience as you go, you dont need to start with the complex jobs.

Look around you at your target market, there may well be plenty of people wanting built in units and odd woodworking jobs doing. If you do do this, make sure you get some liability insurance, it is all too easy to hit a pipe or cable- even happens to the 20 year veterans once in a while. The cost is probably covered by the first job.
 

Jameshow

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I think that all the smaller joinery firms round me would look at skills and aptitude and a CSCS card would be a non entity.
Even smaller builders wouldn't care for one.

At 47 do you really want to be in site doing piece work??

Cheers James
 

Mark18PLL

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I think I’m just a bit gutted that the course I’m doing is not really recognised or that’s what I’m told.
thanks
Mark
 

lurker

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CSCS is H&S plus environment.
You can take it at various levels.
Any of them will do.
It’s just so a given site can tick it’s HS&E box.

Well that is how it worked a few years ago
I see my platinum card no longer exists
 

Trevanion

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I think I’m just a bit gutted that the course I’m doing is not really recognised or that’s what I’m told.
At one point and time, having a City and Guilds qualification was quite a big deal and it took quite a good amount of actual hard work to acquire one. Now, unfortunately, as I'm sure you've seen on your course is that pretty much any muppet can get one as the bar has been lowered to the point where it's barely a one-foot hurdle, let alone a six-foot high jump. If you ever see the older practical and theoretical tests of the C&G courses you will see just how much it has been watered down over the years to get numbers of students passed through the colleges and get the government grants in, so not much actually gets properly taught anymore. This is also reflected in the tutors themselves, very few are really competent enough to actually teach the subject they're paid to teach but are very good at guiding people through the very simple curriculum laid out by C&G these days and also very good at pencil-pushing.

You go back to the early twentieth century up to about the 80s you will see that the quality of education through colleges was far superior but also more difficult for the student to pass, tutors were usually very skilled, long-time served industry experts who may even have a book or two under their belt, I can't say I know of anyone of any serious knowledge in the education system that isn't private and paid for by the student. There is a college tutor who has a small presence online who has taught at a college for many years, but their lack of knowledge sometimes about very simple things is rather terrifying sometimes, how can you teach hundreds of students over many years when you don't know the very basics?

An NVQ on the other hand is a different matter, to gain one you need to be an apprentice (as I assume you already know) and/or sufficiently experienced in the field for which you're qualifying for. It's quite hard work to complete but more so because it's very monotonous with pages upon pages of writing and evidence taking to prove you're sufficiently qualified for it. Again, it's not really a qualification as such but more of an evidence to say that at some point you have completed the work required to have it which as @lurker said, ticks the H&S boxes needed these days.

But the qualifications are kind of moot anyway, any sites that use a CSCS card system are going to be absolutely rubbish to work on and will be for rather big companies undertaking large public works more than your small local builder/carpenter/joiner. I don't have a CSCS card, never been asked for one, neither have I ever been asked for my C&G or my NVQ qualifications, I turn up on time and I get the job done which is qualification enough for most people.
 

Linwoodjoinery

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Unfortunately in CSCS world you need NVQ’s. Also most employers will also ask for an NVQ. A diploma is basically the bit you do at college and an NVQ is work based evidence plus knowledge questions. Hope that helps. You can get a training CSCS card but it only lasts 12 months if I remember right. In which time you need to pass and NVQ
 

Mark18PLL

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Hi, thanks again for all of the comments it is really appreciated that you have taken the time to reply.

After reading all of the comments i am going to carry on with the course and complete it, there are some good tutors who have been in the industry a long time and i actually enjoy being taught by them. I was looking at site work as a fallback in case things were quiet. I think the best thing for me to do now is gain as much knowledge as i can from the course and go and get some experience.

Thanks again
Mark
 

ander11

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Unfortunately in CSCS world you need NVQ’s. Also most employers will also ask for an NVQ. A diploma is basically the bit you do at college and an NVQ is work based evidence plus knowledge questions. Hope that helps. You can get a training CSCS card but it only lasts 12 months if I remember right. In which time you need to pass and NVQ
NVQ means nearly very Qualified, CSCS card last for 5 yrs Ian
 

Sean33

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Not sure if anyone can give me any tips or guidance and apologies if it is not relevant to this forum.

I am currently studying a City and Guilds level 2 Site Carpentry Diploma. I am 47, wanted a career change and was really drawn to it. Now i am starting to move through the course i decided to look into my CSCS card and have since found that the course i am currently doing is not actually recognised by them and i would have to complete an NVQ Diploma Level 2 in Site Carpentry. I am quite gutted as i was really hoping to make this work, i did speak to my college at first (when enrolling) regarding an apprenticeship but was told employers really want young kids. I understand this but unfortunately it just puts up another barrier for someone my age.

Has anyone else managed to do this and make it work and have any tips or advise.

Thank you in advance

Mark
Hi Mark,
Was in a very similar position to you 4-5 years ago at the same age. I didn't go to college though as i didn't have the bottle to be the oldest in the class, wish i had though. Any way wanted to make bespoke furniture the old fashioned way, with hand tools so enrolled on a couple of courses, one with John Lloyd which i would thoroughly recommend. Started an Etsy shop, web site etc and slowly im making a few pieces here and there. Unfortunately this didn't really cover the bills so took myself over to a couple of local joinery/kitchen/bedroom makers. Not ideal by any means but offered to work for free to get experience, fortunately after a couple of months i was offered a job. Was and still am the oldest apprentice around! but the experience has been invaluable.
The experience gained has led me to make fitted furniture for family, then friends, now friend of friends etc. Its taken time and invariably working 6 days sometimes 7 days a week to do private jobs but never been happier. The best jobs are still the solid builds but do get enjoyment working with sheet materials.
Guess what im trying to say here is if its what you really enjoy do it.
Hope this helps
 

Mark18PLL

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Hi Mark,
Was in a very similar position to you 4-5 years ago at the same age. I didn't go to college though as i didn't have the bottle to be the oldest in the class, wish i had though. Any way wanted to make bespoke furniture the old fashioned way, with hand tools so enrolled on a couple of courses, one with John Lloyd which i would thoroughly recommend. Started an Etsy shop, web site etc and slowly im making a few pieces here and there. Unfortunately this didn't really cover the bills so took myself over to a couple of local joinery/kitchen/bedroom makers. Not ideal by any means but offered to work for free to get experience, fortunately after a couple of months i was offered a job. Was and still am the oldest apprentice around! but the experience has been invaluable.
The experience gained has led me to make fitted furniture for family, then friends, now friend of friends etc. Its taken time and invariably working 6 days sometimes 7 days a week to do private jobs but never been happier. The best jobs are still the solid builds but do get enjoyment working with sheet materials.
Guess what im trying to say here is if its what you really enjoy do it.
Hope this helps
Thanks Sean, great to hear from other people in the same boat as me. Thanks for taking the time to reply, i have a clearer idea of what i want and need to do now.

Thanks to everyone who replied and for not ripping me to pieces lol
 

HOJ

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I took on an Army leaver in the Summer, no work experience, but a great attitude, unfortunately he only lasted a few weeks, found him a job with a Plumber which was what he really wanted to do, my loss.

I also know of another guy, worked in a garage, he had shown a keen interest in learning carpentry/joinery, in September he left his employment and teamed up with another, who is a carpenter, met up with them the other day at the merchants, and they are really, really busy, and doing well.

Keep your spirits up and put yourself out there, you will find something.

I presume you are in Lancashire, not familiar with "lancaahire" if you were nearer we could have had a chat.
 

Mark18PLL

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I took on an Army leaver in the Summer, no work experience, but a great attitude, unfortunately he only lasted a few weeks, found him a job with a Plumber which was what he really wanted to do, my loss.

I also know of another guy, worked in a garage, he had shown a keen interest in learning carpentry/joinery, in September he left his employment and teamed up with another, who is a carpenter, met up with them the other day at the merchants, and they are really, really busy, and doing well.

Keep your spirits up and put yourself out there, you will find something.

I presume you are in Lancashire, not familiar with "lancaahire" if you were nearer we could have had a chat.
Oh dear i never even noticed the spelling mistake on Lancashire lol and i thought i had an eye for detail .
 

Jameshow

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I took on an Army leaver in the Summer, no work experience, but a great attitude, unfortunately he only lasted a few weeks, found him a job with a Plumber which was what he really wanted to do, my loss.

I also know of another guy, worked in a garage, he had shown a keen interest in learning carpentry/joinery, in September he left his employment and teamed up with another, who is a carpenter, met up with them the other day at the merchants, and they are really, really busy, and doing well.

Keep your spirits up and put yourself out there, you will find something.

I presume you are in Lancashire, not familiar with "lancaahire" if you were nearer we could have had a chat.
If you are in Yorkshire I'd come over and have a chat!!

Cheers James
 
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