The British Woodworking Federation Group
For Students – Kick Start Your Apprenticeship

Kick Start Your Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships remain a great way of getting into the woodworking and joinery manufacturing industry. They offer you a varied learning experience including on- and off- the-job learning and allow you to earn at the same time.

Benefits of becoming an apprentice

  • Earn while you learn – achieve an income whilst learning to do the job in your chosen profession.
  • Train in the skills employers want – learn the skills employers need to undertake their work.
  • Excellent progression opportunities – can progress onto Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications – further enhancing your CV.
  • Increased future earning potential – enjoy potential marked salary increases when you complete your apprenticeship.
  • Become more confident – become more independent, confident and self-assured.
  • Learn key skills – learn the key behaviours needed to undertake your role. Maths and English qualifications are embedded within apprenticeships ensuring you have the skills that are employers are looking for.

Carpentry and Joinery Apprenticeship

Carpentry and Joinery Apprenticeship Carpentry and Joinery apprenticeships involve carrying out skilled work, primarily using timber components, either on a construction site or in a workshop, creating and installing building products. This is a ‘core and options’ apprenticeship, with two pathways available:

Pathway 1: Site Carpenter

  • Will normally work on a building site or in domestic and commercial premises
  • Role to prepare and fix building components on site, from the initial erection of a new building, through to the installation of all necessary fixtures and fittings.
  • Carry out a range of repair and maintenance activities to exiting premises

Pathway 2: Architectural Joiner

  • Will normally be employed in a workshop producing timber-based building components and other architectural products.
  • Products include doors, windows, units and staircases, which are then transported to construction sites to be installed by site carpenters.


Advanced Carpentry and Joinery Apprenticeship

This apprenticeship involves carrying out advanced skilled work of a more complex nature, primarily using timber products, either on a construction site, or in a workshop, creating and installing building components. There are two pathways available:

Pathway 1: Advanced Site Carpenter

  • Will normally work on a building site, or in domestic and commercial premises, preparing and installing complex and often bespoke building omponents and products.

Pathway 2: Advanced Architectural Joiner

  • Will normally be employed in a workshop, producing complex building components and products by setting out, marking out, manufacturing and assembling bespoke architectural products.


Wood Product Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship

  • This occupation is found in the manufacturing sector, producing high volume, engineered products from timber.
  • Presenting a wide and varied specification for both external and interior applications, products such as roofing components, windows, doors, door- ets, staircases and other timber construction items.
  • Workplaces can be wide ranging from small workshops to large state of the art manufacturing facilities.


  • Kick-start your apprenticeship journey

    There are a number of ways that you can kick-start your apprenticeship journey, including:

  • 1.

    Register with the CITB (Construction Industry Skills Training Board) - the CITB are the main provider of apprentices in the construction sector as a whole, which includes woodworking and joinery. The majority of employers in joinery are required to register with them and will post an apprenticeship vacancy on their site. The CITB will then help match you with a potential employer to start and an apprenticeship.

    Find out more
  • 2.

    Register with a government approved Apprenticeship Agency (England only) – a government approved apprenticeship agency will provide an apprenticeship matching service for you. Whilst this route will not be targeted as much as the CITB service (see above), other employers that are not registered with CITB will use this site to find an apprentice.

    Find out more
  • 3.

    Search apprenticeship standards on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website - find out more about the new trailblazer apprenticeships available and the approved apprenticeship training providers delivering them.

    Find out more
  • 4.

    Contact your local colleges or training providers - undertake a search on the internet for colleges and training providers that offer Carpentry/Architectural Joinery/Wood Product Manufacturing Operative or if you know your local college, contact them, as they may be able to assist with finding a prospective employer. Remember, college isn’t the only way to gain your apprenticeship, independent training providers also deliver apprenticeships, often tailored to meet bespoke needs – it’s worth investigating to see if this path is better suited to you.

    Find out more
  • 5.

    Contact local woodworking companies - contact local woodworking and joinery manufacturers to see if they are taking on apprentices. You can use our ‘Find a Supplier’ search on the homepage of our website and search by postcode to find joinery manufacturers near you or do an internet search for ‘joinery manufacturers’, ‘joiners’, ‘carpentry companies’ or ‘carpenters’.

    Use the BWF Find A Supplier
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National Specialist Contractors Council
Passive Fire Protection Federation
Trade Association Forum
The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products