24th Sep, 2020

Carpentry student carves out new business venture after setting up home workshop during lockdown

A CARPENTRY student who spent lockdown setting a home workshop has carved out a new business venture.

Moreton Morrell College student Alex Dalton has been studying carpentry and joinery for the last two years, but when the college closed he took to improving his skills at home.

The 17-year-old attended Heart of England School in Balsall Common and the idea for the home workshop was formed when his family moved to Hampton-in-Arden.

After receiving some help from his parents he has been working out of his new workshop to complete projects like chopping boards and chests of drawers, and then selling them on to family, friends and other local people.

Carpentry and joinery is in Alex’s blood with his great grandfather a wood carver and his other great grandfather a lumberjack.

Despite being severely dyslexic and failing to achieve the grades needing to get onto the course, he impressed tutors with his enthusiasm, determination and knowledge of materials and was admitted into the class.

Alex completed a work placement at a joinery shop in Solihull and after impressing the employer has been offered the chance to return for full-time employment when his college course finishes next summer.

Alex said: “I’ve always had a great knowledge of materials and learning the skills has come naturally to me over the last few years.

“When we moved house, I asked my parents if they would help me to build a workshop in the grounds. So I earned some money to put towards the workshop, tools and machinery and now it’s fully operating.

“I’m actually using some of my great granddad’s tools that have been passed down to me.

“People have been ordering parts, family, friends and then people who have heard about it through word of mouth. I’m really enjoying it and it’s been a good way to spend the free time from not being at college.

“I’m looking forward to working in a workshop after finishing college and hope to one day have my own fully-operating business, and this should help me to do that in the future.”

And curriculum leader John Billings says admitting Alex onto the course was a good decision.

He told the Observer: “At interview stage Alex really impressed us all and we’re extremely glad we made the decision to bring him onto the course.

“He has been a model learner and is a talented carpenter. He works tirelessly to achieve perfection and has completed projects experienced tradespeople would be proud of, so it’s no surprise that his home workshop has proved a success.

“Alex has broken down many personal barriers to get to this stage and we have no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him as a joiner after he finishes college.”

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