Every once in a while, you come across certain individuals that restore your faith in people and give you that one shred of hope that there are genuine people left out there in the world, working hard to make a difference. These people show that you are the master of your own path and that anything is possible. I came across Samuel-James Wilson on Twitter. I had a look at his blog, read his story and was slightly inspired! More over, his achievements have come by way of an apprenticeship in the building trade, something I have been championing over the last few weeks. This is his story and he will be appearing on here on a regular basis:

My name is Samuel-James Wilson, 24 from Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I have been in the Building trade since I was 15 and I have been interested in the Building trade since I was 6.

I guess I got my passion for building things and also where all started for me with my Father – Colin Wilson. A joiner by trade a jack of all trades by nature. I will always remember when I was a mighty little chap running around the house

[normally with my pants off] watching my dad build things and fix things.  He purchased and renovated a full home on his own in my home town of Preston which we lived in during that time.  I will always remember watching him crawl under the floorboards thinking ‘WOW, a cave!’

Since then I have always been interested in construction and architecture, looking up churches and manor houses thinking ‘how is it even possible to build something like that?’ Now many years on it is something I am actively pursuing. During my time as an apprentice bricklayer I never wanted to be a run of the mill builder, I have always wanted to build things that will make people take a breath and think ‘WOW’

My building career began when I was 15.  I was kicked out of school. I wasn’t the best at school, as you might guess from the subsequent expulsion. I always wanted to be the centre of attention, and never really found anything interesting enough to make me concentrate. [Insert public apology to my former teachers here] I’m not condoning my actions back then, far from it! That was my decision.  Shortly after I was giving the chance of becoming an apprentice Plumber,  which back then was a VERY lucky turn of events and something I said yes to straight away.

Two years later I qualified from York College with a NVQ Level 2 in Plumbing and Heating. I look back at my time as a plumber and just remember thinking I was never really happy with how it was going or what was involved with the job, but because there didn’t really seem another option I carried on.

One day I got offered the chance of becoming a labourer for a local Builder and decided to give it a go [thankfully!]

Now three years on I am a fully qualified bricklayer with a NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 Advanced Diploma, achieving both a Distinction and Merit in my years. During my time studying bricklaying I finally realised what I wanted to do in my life.  I really enjoy building things in general and the thought I could one day maybe work on such fantastic churches and manor houses really spurred me on.

I have now been given the greatest opportunity of my life. I have been accepted and granted a place as a apprentice on the Building Skill In Craft Programme 2012 with The Prince’s Foundation. After competing against hundreds of other applicants.  For the next eight months I will be traveling the country working with Master Craftsman learning traditional methods of building, which will in turn give me the relevant qualification and experience to be able to work on the jobs I have always wanted to.

I owe all of the things I have achieved to apprenticeships. I recommend anyone and everyone to take the step and pester local trades people to take them on. Yes you might be on a rubbish wage for a few years [trust me I had it bad] but at the end of the day, you will never get anywhere without making the effort, but also make sure it is what you want to do. I have come across so many people in the building trade that don’t like their job, if you don’t like it don’t do it.

I will be documenting my time with the Foundation and my future as a Builder through my Blog which I started writing just over two years ago now. The Apprentice-Ship started out as a online diary for myself to document my work so I had something to look back on in later life. It has now been read in over 70 countries around the world and just topped 14,000 hits. The reactions I recive from the Blog constantly surprise me. For more information about myself, my Blog and my apprenticeship with The Prince’s Foundation, head to my Blog – www.Apprentice-Ship.com I am also on Twitter – @SamuelShip – Facebook – www.Facebook.com/TheApprenticeShip AND Linkedin [where you can find my online CV] – http://www.linkedin.com/in/theapprenticeship

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Samuel-James Wilson