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BESPOKE joinery firm Crafted & Co has taken [...].

BESPOKE joinery firm Crafted & Co has taken on its first two apprentices.

Callum Burns, 16 and Matthew Smith, 19, have joined the Gateshead firm which has launched its first apprenticeship course to bring new talent into the industry and provide young people with an alternative to university.

Callum, from Leam Lane, who is also studying carpentry and joinery at Gateshead College, said: "I've been interested in woodwork ever since I was young. Even at five years old I was putting bits of wood together. "A lot of my friends have found it hard to get joinery apprenticeships in this area, and I have already learnt so much. It's nice to see Crafted & Co offering a solution to this problem and helping young people to learn a trade."

Matthew opted for a career in joinery rather than A-levels.

He said: "A lot of young people overlook the apprentice route for furthering their education.

"I chose an apprenticeship rather than A levels as it combines college with on-the-job training."

The three-year scheme, which is certified by Gateshead and Darlington Colleges, aims to give the apprentices in-depth training in the joinery sector and the invaluable practical knowledge.

Callum and Matthew are learning from experienced mentors and have been involved in all aspects of joinery including shadowing senior craftsmen, broadening their knowledge of tools and techniques, spotting characteristics of different timbers and working with joinery specific machinery. Crafted & Co managing director Ken Smith said: "It is great to give young people the opportunity to learn a trade.

"Not only is it beneficial for them and the company, it is essential that fresh talent is brought into the industry to keep trade sectors going within the UK.

"The boys' joinery skills are really improving ... they will be a true asset to the company."

Crafted & Co was formerly known as Contract Joinery but rebranded to give people a better idea of what it does.

CAPTION(S):

JOINING THE TEAM Callum Burns, an apprentice at Crafted & Co which specialises in bespoke joinery
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2012
Words:335
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