8th February 2023

Apprentice Luke follows in the footsteps of dad and grandad

Apprenticeship National Apprenticeship Week

Our Property Maintenance apprentice Luke Murfin has followed in the footsteps of his dad and grandad, becoming the third generation of his family to work at Van Elle, and the second to become an apprentice.

Luke is the latest of his relatives to opt for a career at Van Elle, having recently started his two-year apprenticeship.

Both Luke and his dad Neil work in maintenance at our head office in Kirkby.

Luke began his apprenticeship in June and attends college one day per week. He is working towards a Property Maintenance Operative Apprenticeship, Level 2 Qualification.

During his days at college Luke studies the knowledge, skills and core technical competencies as set out within the standard. These include understanding the mechanisms of buildings including electrical, plumbing, plant, safety systems and equipment. He will also develop a wide array of skills which include: tiling, painting, plastering and joinery.

During his time at work, Luke supports maintenance and repair work around the offices. This can include light plumbing, brickwork, joinery, painting and decorating.

The apprenticeship offers a wide variety of career paths. Upon completion, Luke can decide which aspect he prefers so he can specialise further down the line, if he wishes.

Talking about his apprenticeship Luke said: “I have enjoyed the whole experience so far. I’m really enjoying the work and learning lots of new skills. My role is to maintain our office’s condition, to ensure it is kept safe, for our employees and visitors.

“This means I’m learning all different things. One day I could be working on small minor repairs and the next day I’ll be starting a week-long project”

“I find the apprenticeship has worked better than going to college full time for me and learning in that way because I enjoy the practical learning more.”

Luke’s father joined the business more than 25 years ago and like Luke, his career began as an apprentice. He started the business as a Joiner, before moving up to General Operative and then his current role as Maintenance Operative. Luke’s grandad, also worked as an Operative when he joined shortly after the business was founded before he retired in 2002. 

Apprentice Luke Murfin (left) has followed in the footsteps of his dad and grandad

Luke’s father, Neil, spoke of his pride that Luke had now also become an apprentice.

“I’m proud that Luke shares the same interest with me and my father and has joined Van Elle.”

Neil also spoke of the scheme’s benefits.

“Apprenticeships are real jobs where you learn, gain experience, and get paid, they are a great option. Luke is getting hands-on training and the chance to put his skills into practice.

“He’s learning the procedures and protocols, that surround the job. This includes standard operating procedures, health and safety and other very important features of the job.

“Not only that but Luke is also developing other skills such as communication, timekeeping, and organisation. 

“By the end of his apprenticeship, he’ll have the right skills and knowledge needed for his chosen career.”

Luke’s Manager, Greg Baverstock added “We’ve been able to give Luke the opportunity to work on a wide range of jobs, including concrete operations, drainage, and bricklaying.

“He’s done really well, completing jobs and any tasks set him to a high standard and is always keen to learn new skills needed for his role.”

We are really pleased that Luke has decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandad.

Here at Van Elle, we recognise the importance of investing in training for the next generation of employees and these traditional skills are still absolutely vital to our business.

Visit the NAW website here, or view our careers page for more information on Van Elle apprenticeship opportunities.