Apprenticeship provided a Sterling opportunity for Liverpool entrepreneur

A 23-year-old local entrepreneur will be inspiring young people with a talk about his career journey at the Liverpool City Region Skills Show on Monday 18 June at Exhibition Centre Liverpool.

Chris Cox, Director of Sterling Plastering Limited, will be speaking at the free event which is being delivered by Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub. It provides a unique opportunity for residents to discover a wide range of career and apprenticeship opportunities through hands-on activities, interactions with employers and career related seminars.

Chris, from Knowsley Village, is very keen to share with young people the skills he believes have helped him begin his own business, which he says is merely down to being “hardworking, a fast learner and committed to the job.”

At the age of 16, Chris had left school and was working in a fast food restaurant when he decided he wanted a job with a clear route of progression. He said: “An apprenticeship seemed the perfect fit for me – I could study at the same time as earning a wage with a clear route of progression ahead.”

“Initially I helped around the office with scanning and filing while I learnt more about the construction industry. I was working under a Senior Quantity Surveyor who also sent me to site to count up the materials as they were delivered. This involved being on site for 7AM, something which I was used to whilst working in a fast food chain.”

“I started college and was really beginning to develop as a young professional with a passion for construction.  I was enjoying my work and freedom while gaining a qualification that will last me a life time.”

“When I completed my apprenticeship I successfully interviewed for Barratt/David Wilson Homes North West and started as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor. I signed up to complete a HNC in Construction and the Built Environment which I completed by studying two evenings a week while working full time. This was difficult to juggle, but paid off because at the age of 21 I was successfully promoted to Quantity Surveyor.”

“After a few months in my new role I began to think I could use my skills in a better way. I had learnt how to professionally manage contracts, how to communicate with people within the industry and I believed I had the financial skills to run my own business. I started the business with limited capital and took the leap out of full time employment on the strength of one contract. This has now paid dividends as we look to turnover in excess of £3million this year with over 70 employees on our books.”

Melanie Dodd, Skills Strategy Manager at Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub, said: “It will be so inspiring for residents of the Liverpool City Region to hear from Chris, who has been so successful in undertaking an apprenticeship and using this to progress his career. In addition, employers, training providers, colleges and universities will be on hand to speak to visitors about apprenticeship opportunities in the region.”

To book free entry, please visit www.apprenticeshiphub.org.uk/events/skills-show-2018/