Spec Finish

Feature With the recruitment of a skilled workforce remaining an important topic, SpecFinish spoke to Corey Parker , who began his career as an apprentice dryliner withTaylor Hart, and Matthew Jolly , who is studying a TLevel in Design, Surveying and Planning and has a work placement at MAC-Group, about their different journeys into the sector. A JOURNEY INTO THE SECTOR 14 www.thefis.org Corey Parker , tells us about his journey from school to becoming an apprentice and being inspired by the FIS awards to become self-employed, all in the last eight years. Corey’s story started like so many other students as he realised he was good with his hands and didn’t want to work in an office. He said “I knew I wasn’t academic at school and I didn’t make it all the way through however, I did pass everything I took. I knew I needed money so wanted to earn and learn. I started to look at the apprenticeship websites and applied for anything that was a manual role”. The first business to offer him an opportunity as an apprentice was FIS member Taylor Hart, the apprenticeship was in Drylining. Corey said: “I needed work so I took the role, I knew I could earn and learn for 18 months and was inspired by the fact that it offered me a solid job after the apprenticeship, so job security”. We discussed the apprenticeship and he explained that Taylor Hart had treated him well and during his apprenticeship had given him an excellent foundation to do the job. He recalls that he was frequently spoken to by a director and when asked questions he got these 100% correct. He believed this showed that he was on the ball and on the job to learn and not just to get paid. He was also in his words “consistent” as he had little time off through illness, worked hard and came to work with an excellent attitude every day. This commitment led to Corey being nominated by Taylor Hart for FIS Apprentice of the Year in 2016, where he was runner up. He said: “Being nominated was surreal as I was coming to the end of my apprenticeship and didn’t know about FIS. The nomination made me realise how big the finishes and interiors sector was. I was inspired by the ceremony mainly because the people who attended were doing well for themselves and I decided that I could be one of them. I had been recognised for doing well however, I wanted to do better. After receiving the recognition I felt a change and it was no longer just a job it was a career”. Corey explained at the end of the apprenticeship he knew there was much more he needed and wanted to learn as he didn’t learn the whole trade in the first 18 months. He said: “I was proud I had passed my NVQ, PASMA and IPAF courses, obtained a Blue CSCS card and received an award. I am forever thankful to Taylor Hart as I wouldn’t be where I am now if it was not for the apprenticeship”. When his apprenticeship was completed, he explained that he felt it was time to branch out and became self-employed, working for Interior Ceilings and Partitions. They had two partners and Corey when he started, and as of 2022, they now have 50 workers. This opportunity appealed to Corey as he knew with the skills he had developed as an apprentice, along with hard work, the right attitude, and passion he would always have work in the sector and could grow with the business. Corey has benefited massively from Interior Ceilings and Partitions subcontracting to FIS member Drywall Contracts which over the last four years has grown into a market leader in the Midlands and given Corey opportunities to supervise Corey Parker Working/Site Supervisor, subcontracting to Drywall Contracts.

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