Chesterfield joiner crowned ‘apprentice of the year’ after leaving marketing job and discovering ‘love for carpentry’

An apprentice carpenter and joiner from Chesterfield was named ‘apprentice of the year’ – joining the trade after leaving his job in marketing.

Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 11:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 1:02 pm

Alex Avis, 26, is originally from Chesterfield and attended Tupton Hall School, where he achieved good GCSE and A Level grades. He studied history at the University of Leeds and worked in marketing, before leaving his job and preparing for a move to Australia.

The pandemic hit and he was unable to travel so, without a job and with time on his hands, he started making things for his home and garden – discovering a love for carpentry in the process.

Alex now lives in Sandiacre and works for heritage and period property construction specialists Pete Abraham Builders in Nottingham, attending Derby College Group’s Hudson Building once a week to work towards his trade qualifications.

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Alex was chosen out of nearly 2,500 applicants for the award.

He decided to enter the Screwfix Trade Apprentice 2022 competition to showcase how ‘late bloomers’ can flourish in the trade. He was named Apprentice of the Year – beating some 2,500 candidates nationwide – and won a career-boosting prize package worth £10,000 including tools, technology and training.

Alex said: “I was completely self-taught – watching Youtube videos – but I was getting pretty good. I was offered an apprenticeship with Pete Abraham who was keen that I get my qualifications and Derby College looked the best place to study.

“I saw something online about the Screwfix Trade Apprentice competition which celebrates emerging talent and thought I may as well apply.

“I couldn’t believe it when they told me I had won. It is such an honour to be an ambassador for the trade and the company and I hope that it encourages more people of all ages to look at a career in carpentry and joinery.”

Jack Wallace, director of marketing at Screwfix, said: “Apprentices are the lifeblood of the industry, and we know it’s in safe hands with people like Alex and our other finalists coming through the ranks.

“We were really impressed with Alex’s ambition for the future and his professionalism. Seeing the role he wants to play in changing perceptions around the industry completely matches our passion at Screwfix for celebrating trade champions and because of that, we are proud to announce Alex as our 2022 winner. I’m looking forward to seeing where this accolade will take his career.”