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AJC Carpentry Southern Limited values experience to grow its business 

Some say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but often it’s maturity, experience and an established work ethic that counts the most. 

Hampshire-based joinery company AJC Carpentry Southern needed to train up workers who already knew what they were doing, but didn’t have the qualifications to show for it. CITB funding was available to help them on their way.

With a fast-growing business, AJC Carpentry Southern needed to get qualified people ready for site work as quickly as possible.They identified six carpenters who already had a good level of knowledge and experience; four of them had been in the army where their building skills had been put to good use.

But none of them had the qualifications they needed to be fully-fledged on-site carpenters.

Funding for the right training

“Apprenticeships are great. We had already taken on seven apprentices that year, but this style of learning wasn’t suitable for the circumstances of these more mature and experienced workers,” Administration Assistant Jane Rose explains.

“So we decided to invest in on-site training to bring them up to speed.” 

Thanks to regular contact with their local CITB representative, the company was made aware of the funding that they could get for this training.

“Our CITB rep was ever so helpful. She was quick to respond to our questions and guided us through the application process, as well as all the rules and regulations.”

“The process was straightforward, but we couldn’t have managed without her.”

Once the forms were in and approved, the company received £5,000 funding, and the six employees undertook an NVQ 2 Diploma in Wood Occupations (Site Carpentry), assessed on-site and in class with an accredited training provider.

The qualification covered external work, such as roofing, joisting and erecting timber frames, as well as internal carpentry, such as first and second fix joinery work.

Visible results

“The training has helped our workforce to grow and gain in confidence,” Jane says.

“They feel trained to a high level, and able to carry out daily tasks which improve their skills, their interest in the job and ultimately productivity; without this funding none of this would have happened.”

The whole thing was so successful that the company applied for, and received, funding the following year too, for four more employees.

“The whole process was even faster and easier the second time around. And the continuing training is helping us to fill our skills gap, improve performance and retain our people.”

As if that wasn’t enough, one of the original six employees is now being trained as a contracts manager. 

“His career is leaping forward, an opportunity originally created by CITB-funded training.”


Company:  AJC Carpentry Southern Limited
Sector: Carpentry services on large-house building sites
Challenge:  Getting on-site NVQ 2 qualifications for six improver carpenters
Fund type: CITB’s skills and training fund
Amount awarded: £5,000 

  • An upskilled and more confident workforce;
  • new career opportunities for individuals;
  • improved overall productivity;
  • and support to train more employees every year.

“They feel able to carry out tasks which improve skills, their interest in the job and ultimately productivity; without this funding none of this would have happened.”

Jane Rose, AJC Carpentry