Creating homes and places where people want to live

A Day in the Life...Trade apprentice

A day in the life of Zara, Apprentice Plasterer

Ever wondered what it’s like to work for Nottingham City Homes? Here, we ask Apprentice Plasterer Zara about her job and about what it’s like having an apprenticeship with NCH. Here’s what she said.

“I started my plastering apprenticeship in September 2019 after attending a Women in Construction workshop. I’ve always wanted to work in the construction industry - I enjoy hands-on projects and I’d applied previously to a few construction companies but hadn’t got anywhere. I remember on one occasion after my interview, I was informed that they wouldn’t be taking my application forward because they didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable with male banter! Outrageous, looking back – but the experience did put me off applying for anything else for a while.

“Fast forward a few years and my mum, who’s an NCH tenant, had a leak in her house. An NCH plumber came to fix it and we got into a conversation; I mentioned my interest in construction and told me about NCH’s women in construction programme and suggested that I attend a workshop. I thought it was too late to apply but gave it a go anyway - I can remember sitting on the stairs whilst the plumber was still there, and applying on the NCH website.

“Following the workshop, as soon as the chance to apply to become an apprentice came up, I grabbed it. When I was told I’d got through, I had to keep phoning NCH to make sure it wasn’t a mistake - I was really happy, but I was also worried about going to college again, as I haven’t studied for a while. I didn’t need to worry though, I was made really welcome.

“Since I started at NCH I’ve been able to work in a few different sections - my favourite project so far has been Grander Designs, going into independent living communities and refurbishing and modernising them. I was able to see the project right through from start to finish, from initially ripping everything out to the finished result. I loved seeing my work in the finished rooms, and got a massive sense of achievement from it.  I also got to see how my role as a plasterer interacted with other trades, which has been really useful.

“As I continue in my apprenticeship, I’m look forward to further developing my plastering skills, as well as doing more multi-skilling. I’d eventually like to get a job with NCH and support new plastering apprentices coming through – because I now understand how a good mentor can develop a person’s passion for their trade.”

Thanks Zara – it’s great to hear that you’re getting so much out of your apprenticeship.