My name is Jon Warton, I am 31 years old and I studied Carpentry and Joinery at South Essex College from 2001 until 2003 and this is my story.
I achieved an NVQ 1, 2 and 3 in Carpentry and Joinery. I believe the perfect college course is a combination of onsite facilities, location and tuition quality. South Essex College ticked all these boxes for me, plus they offered courses that suited my ambition and goals.
At school I was not a high achiever and I was an uninspired student. However, I was passionate about my hobbies such as carpentry and joinery. I knew carpentry and joinery is the career path I wanted, but did fear my school grades would prevent me from achieving it. When I left school I decided to pursue my dream, first starting an apprenticeship at Stiltland Joinery in Wickford, Essex. This is when I first began studying for my NVQ level 1, 2 and 3 at South Essex College. During my training I learnt many carpentry and joinery skills. The practical skills I learnt at South Essex College, combined with my apprenticeship at Stiltland Joinery, made me a competent tradesman.
After completing my NVQ course at South Essex College, I used my newly found skills to take part in special commercial projects. Some of these projects were to install reception desks in theatres, casinos and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. I also installed the seating area inside the London eye pods. I have worked for many carpentry and joinery firms and throughout the years I have gained many skills in constructing, erecting, installing, maintaining and repairing fixtures on commercial and residential buildings.
My greatest joy has been working with the public and love contributing to the design process. Having gained extensive experience, I decided to open my own business called
Warton Woodworks (http://www.wartonwoodworks.com/). This business offers home improvement and carpentry services. I also created a DIY blog on my website which offers free construction DIY tips. I also construct bespoke oak furniture which I sell to the public in my spare time. Operating a business takes hard work and dedication. However, getting to that stage requires knowledge, inspiration and guidance. I believe my training at South Essex College gave me the drive and ambition to become a highly skilled carpenter, and to start my own business. It made me a determined individual with a positive and flexible attitude to assuming new roles and responsibilities.
Further education such as NVQ’s force you to problem solve and innovate. These are qualities that are needed in everyday life as a tradesman. I believe these types of courses improve your social skills and ability to solve complex problems. This change of thinking is what I believe is great about further education.
My qualifications prove I have gone through a strict training program. This is highly valuable when operating a business. Customers need to know if the tradesmen they are hiring have the necessary qualifications.
The equipment at South Essex College was very modern, reliable and user friendly. South Essex College has a fantastic reputation, and for good reasons. The College offers many types of courses and facilities. It is also located in an excellent place, near transport links, shops and restaurants. However, the tutors are the main reason to recommend this college. They are passionate and inspirational, this is what I believe students desire most. 15 years ago I finished school with poor qualifications. I now own my own carpentry business, reaching out to customers in Essex and London. I am also qualified in my chosen trade. My biggest achievement is self-transformation. Everybody has the potential to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
I plan to carry on learning from people. I now believe no dream is too big to achieve. All you need is drive, determination and the correct knowledge to succeed. I aspire to carry on giving 100% effort to any task I undertake and be self-disciplined in my work. My time at College helped me develop excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, allowing me to relay necessary information in an articulate and efficient manner. Working in a disciplined environment has developed my analytical skills and ability to handle multiple tasks with constantly changing priorities. I have used my educational and working experience to inspire others to attain their own personnel goals.