A Spotlight on Bricklaying Apprentice Naomi Hamilton for National Apprentice Week

Bricklaying Apprentice Naomi Hamilton for National Apprentice Week Network She

National Apprentice Week runs between the 8th-14th February and this year the team at Lee Marley Brickwork Ltd are celebrating their team of amazing apprentices.

Apprentice Training Manager Christian Hatherall-Good comments: “I believe that training on the job through an apprenticeship is the best way to learn. You can earn a wage while learning. I believe that real life learning is important, but cannot be all of the learning, as apprentices need to have the opportunity in a college or training centre to practice new skills, gain knowledge and have the opportunity to make mistakes, without it being detrimental to the build of the project and time constraints.”

Naomi Hamilton, 19 is a bricklaying apprentice at the company, she left school at 15 and at 16, decided upon a career in construction and signed up for a Bricklaying level 1 diploma fulltime course at Brooklands College.

During her first year at college, Naomi became more competent and confident in her skills and knowledge. She was one of the best in her group and was offered an apprenticeship with Lee Marley Brickwork, after she completed the current year long course.

At the moment she spends 5 days a week on site, the day starts with a toolbox talk briefing then we start laying bricks and blocks, positioning fire barriers, attaching ties or helping with fixing horizontal masonry support throughout the day.

Naomi comments: “I love the practical hands-on experience on site and get a real buzz from seeing a project evolve, starting from nothing to a finished build. I’m currently working on a block of flats for Fairview Homes in Hayes which we started last year, it’s exciting to see it unfold. My favourite part of the job is seeing the final outcome of what you’re doing.

You do have an idea in your head of what a job like bricklaying involves and I was surprised at how much more creative it is. You can actually become really imaginative with brick when it comes to things like curved walls, arches and spiral piers. They’re a challenge to have a go at, but I find real pride in making something”.

Naomi is 19 now and excited about her future in this industry. She plans to keep on working hard and challenging herself. Naomi has passed the NVQ Level 2 and will beginning her NVQ Level 3 shortly, after that she’d like to get her gold CSCS card. Naomi will keep working her way up the ladder and one day would like to be a supervisor.

In 2019, Naomi won the first ever inaugural Female Trainee brickwork competition sponsored by Forterra. In 2018, she also won the FIS “I built this 14-18 category” for the photo of her arch and was invited back in 2019 to be on the judging panel for this.

 

Naomi’s advice for other women looking to get into the construction industry:

  • If you’re a female don’t be afraid, believe in yourself and prove people wrong, you can do this in a male orientated industry
  • Don’t give up, keep at it, your hard work will be rewarded
  • Ask questions, you’ll find solutions which you can apply to your work
  • Keep building your skillset – challenge yourself

 

Women in Construction

Naomi comments: “I’m a true believer that whether you’re a man or a woman, if you demonstrate that you can do the job, then you’re accepted. It is hard as many sites aren’t used to having females on the site and often, you’re treated like a labourer at first and you have to earn the respect of the other workers.

There are more females entering apprenticeships that lead to careers in all areas of the industry. I think a lot of the barriers that exist at the moment are to do with it not being properly promoted as something young women can do. If it were, I’m sure you would see a lot more people like me on site.

I’m grateful to my family and friends who have supported me in my journey and hope to see many other women entering into the wet trades, it’s a job I love and would encourage others to find out more about what’s involved.”

Naomi Hamilton is a bricklaying apprentice at Lee Marley Brickwork (LMB). The company is one of the UK’s leading integrated brickwork, scaffolding and stone sub-contractors. The firm is championing female participation in the industry.  LMB currently offers both brickwork and scaffolding apprenticeships in order to bring the next generation of tradesmen into the construction industry.

 

For more information about Lee Marley Brickwork Ltd, please visit: www.leemarley.com

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