Carpentry student spends lockdown beefing up his skills and business

Alex Dalton[2]

A Hampton-in-Arden carpentry student who spent lockdown setting up his own home workshop has now carved out a new business venture.

Alex Dalton, 17, has been studying carpentry and joinery at Moreton Morrell College for the last two years – but when the college closed he took to improving his skills at home.

He 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.

He is severely dyslexic and didn’t achieve the grades to get on to the level one course at Moreton Morrell College first time around, but after impressing tutors with his enthusiasm and knowledge of materials he was admitted to the course.

During his course 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.”

John Billings, Senior Curriculum Leader at Moreton Morrell College, said: “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.”

To find out more about studying carpentry at Moreton Morrell College visit www.wcg.ac.uk/carpentry