Catching up with Carley

Date: 28 March 2017

Last year’s Jewson’s Young Tradesperson of the Year

Starting a career in a trade is an exciting time, with lots of new skills to learn, people to meet and banter to be shared. For those of us in the trade already we know how rewarding it can be but for those outside it can be difficult to build an accurate picture of what it’s really like.

Carley Doolan plasterer of the yearThat’s why we’ve caught up with Carley Doolan, last year’s winner of Jewson’s Young Tradesperson of the Year, to get an insiders view on being a plastering apprentice. We asked her 10 questions about her job and this is what she said: 

  1. What was your favourite thing about being a plastering apprentice? I love the sense of achievement I get when I overcome new challenges, whether that be finishing an intricate job or just learning a new technique. Also, meeting new people – plastering can be a really sociable trade. 

  2. What do you find most challenging about your job? Well the saying “every day is a school day” is definitely true when you’re a plastering apprentice – it’s a real art and takes years to perfect. Other than getting the best finish I would say mixing up and carrying buckets full of plaster can be a challenge for me. 

  3. What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on site? Honestly, there are too many things to choose from. There’s always good banter on site and my advice is you’ve got to give as good as you get. 

  4. What’s your favourite plaster to work with? MultiFinish – it’s what I trained with at college so I feel most comfortable with it and it’s really nice to work with. Plus I’ve never had any issues with it. 

  5. What’s your favourite trowel to work with? Marshalltown Gold Permashape – it’s a great trowel to work with, very comfortable handle and a perfect finish every time! 

  6. What’s it like one year on from winning Jewson’s Young Tradesperson of the Year? I got a job with Kier North Tyneside after winning the competition with a three-month contract but was actually able to extend this to four and a half months. Unfortunately, after that they had to let me go due to not being able to drive but winning the competition has given me a real confidence boost and extra determination to get even better at my trade. 

  7. What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a plastering apprentice? Go for it, I was scared for years thinking I would make a fool of myself in a male orientated work environment but I bit the bullet, started the course and have never looked back since. Plastering is a great skill to have and is something I can use alongside the painting, decorating and tiling skills I already possess. 

  8. Which radio station has the best tunes to work to? Capital FM  

  9. How do you want your career to look in five years time? In five years time I see myself driving and having started my own multi skilled trades business – once I can drive there will be no stopping me! 

  10. What’s your best price to skim a 3mx3m ceiling? Erm, 60 quid? I’m no good with quotes yet.
Carley is 27 years old and is based in Newcastle where she balances working with home life looking after her daughter Layla. After winning the title of Young Tradesperson of the Year, Carley received £1,000 worth of tools plus a holiday to Barcelona complete with tickets to a football match at Camp Nou.

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