Hello, my name is Zack and I’m 26. 10 years ago I was at college studying Bench Joinery. I enjoyed the course and was told by the tutors basically the only way into industry was an apprenticeship. Several interviews later and been unsuccessful I changed industry. 10 years on it’s still my passion and dream to become a joiner. But here are my issues. 1. Most apprenticeships pay peanuts and I have a mortgage and family to provide for. 2. Most Joiner/Carpenter roles require years of on the job experience. And number 3, college was kind of a waste of time. Whilst on the course you learn about the tools and wood working joints and how to make a few frames. In the second year we made a staircase which was amazing. But the course doesn’t teach you enough about the role to go straight into the job. The college did offer site joinery but only as an apprenticeship as I feel like most joinery roles I see are mixed between bench and site. We don’t even get shown how to fit a door. And I read online today that if I already hold the same equivalent qualification I can’t apply for the apprenticeship in that field. I have emailed the apprenticeship service for more information. I feel lost in my journey to become a joiner. If I can’t become an apprentice then what are my options. Times are difficult right now as not many employers seem willing to train someone up who is eager and wanting to learn. My other half’s dad is a self employed builder and literally has never had an interview. Back in the day he walked on site asked for a job and just learned everything he knows over the years. I’ve worked with him a few times and I enjoy what he does. But it would be nearly impossible now a days without doing 5 college courses to know all aspects of building. The thought of been a joiner really lights a fire in my belly. If I could wake up tomorrow and be a joiner it would be utterly amazing. I love the job and like I said most apprenticeships pay peanuts, employers only want experience not qualifications and college not teaching us enough about the role. If I had the time and facilities I would make furniture and sell it but I don’t have a garage or the time as I’m a very busy dad. Any advice on what I can do? Been wanting this for over 10 years now and I have been job searching like crazy lately in hope to progress my joinery.