Great Yarmouth partnership offers opportunity for two young people to launch career in heritage preservation

Two young Norfolk people are embarking on a career in historic building restoration – thanks to a unique partnership between Great Yarmouth’s Preservation Trust and a local construction and development company.

17-year-old Darien Hutchinson and 18-year-old Jordan Chettleburgh have been taken on as apprentices at Great Yarmouth’s historic 135 King Street – which is being restored by Lowestoft-based Wellington in partnership with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust.

The pair are learning a combination of traditional building skills such as bricklaying, alongside specialist heritage building restoration skills – helping to provide a future labour force to undertake such vital work in the future.

The two young craftsmen met at Great Yarmouth College, where they were studying bricklaying.  After undertaking work experience as part of the Preservation Trust’s cemeteries project, they both decided to continue volunteering on the project - and their enthusiasm and hard work led to them being offered apprenticeships when work started on the historic Georgian merchant’s house in the town.

Now Darien, from Gorleston, and Jordan, from South Walsham, are looking forward to building careers in their chosen profession, having been offered the apprenticeship route in.

“Both the Preservation Trust and ourselves were enormously impressed with both these lads, and in particular the fact that they volunteered off their own backs to work in their own time with the Trust,” said Wellington’s managing director Paul Pitcher.

“It is vital that we bring on new young talent in this vital area of construction, and it is a real delight to be able to offer a real opportunity to young people to learn, to gain valuable experience, and to gain a proper foundation for a career in the sector.”

The two new apprentices agree, and have some valuable advice for anyone else looking to start a career.  “You have to get out there and show that you are enthusiastic,” said Darien.  “Doing voluntary work can be a really good way to be noticed and get that first opportunity.”

Wellington historic building restoration apprentices Darien Hutchinson left and Jordan Chettleburgh pictured on site at 135 King Street Great Yarmouth