Why We Send Our Apprentices To America

Cornwall Builders CEO James Hetfield explains why his company have chosen to use the Jobs America scheme

Young people coming through our apprenticeship scheme will often develop into highly skilled builders. But the students who really shine, are usually the ones who broaden their horizons and seek to work abroad for a few months.

As a company we often send our apprentices to work with our building partners and construction companies in the U.S. We feel that to truly become high;y skilled and versatile, which I think is the most important word when it comes to being a builder, getting overseas gives you that experience. The construction and building industry is full of differing skills and trades. It doesn’t matter whether you are renovating, extending or doing a self build home for an architect, the number of trades or “skills” that are needed to complete the work are endless.

Whether you want to specialise in bricklaying, plastering, structure building, roofing or home remodelling and refurbishments. The more experience you have, the more situations you have dealt with and problem solved the better skilled and valuable you will become. I can speak from  experience when I say that when choosing a new employee for our company, it is experience that wins every time.

So think about it this way, from a Director or CEO point of view. Imagine if you are looking at two C.V’s of potential employees for a position that has become available in your company. Both candidates have the same amount of years in the trade, they have similar qualifications and both interviewed very well.

Who do you choose for the position?

Well, you have to look further into their work experience, see who they have worked for and where. So if one the candidates has worked only for one company for their whole career, yes it shows they are loyal and can hold a job!  But if the other candidate has worked for 3/4 different companies and has 6 months experience working overseas in America then that speaks volumes about the quality of working experience they have had.

Houses are slightly different in America, construction processes are done in alternative ways. The materials used for certain elements of the build will not be the same as what we use here in the UK. Getting involved with these different processes and learning how it is done in a different way to what is standard in the U.K, this will turn you into a better builder, a better roofer or a great plasterer, instead of just average like every other young recruit in our industry.

Our apprentices have come back better builders after working in America, they have thoroughly enjoyed the work, and of course there is a chance to travel and have fun over there as well!