Tommy from Gainsborough gets his Tree Cutting and Chainsaw license
Tommy from Gainsborough tells the Lincolnshire Traveller Initiative what it's like to be trained in the job he's been doing for years!
The tree work course that I have just completed was a great learning experience... writes Tommy. It turned out that there were many things that I had been doing wrong over the years. I was brought up doing this work with my dad, without any proper training or qualification. When Lincolnshire Traveller Initiative gave me the opportunity to do this course I was very nervous, as I had never tackled or achieved a qualification before in my life! However, this is part of what made me really determined to do it. Throughout the seven days of my training there were parts that were difficult, but everyone on the course was so nice. We were all in the same boat and I didn’t feel at all stupid.
I did this course as I wanted to better myself and be able to show people that I was qualified to do what I was doing. If work becomes difficult to find and you are having to search for openings, being qualified will be a great help.
The course was definitely an experience as I had not done anything like it before. It was long, cold days but all worth it. The times we went into the woods to do practical work were the most enjoyable. The lady that organised the course was very welcoming and made hot drinks for us all.
Learning the actual work skills was more difficult than I thought it would be as I had always done things in my own way, which was the wrong way! It was quite challenging to get out of those old habits.
I have now also completed a Fire Warden Safety Certificate to help improve the safety of our site. Residents now know that if they have any concerns about fire safety, they can talk to me.
I would definitely recommend training as it is increasingly difficult to get a job without it. So go for it! Every qualification helps towards getting a job and makes you feel like you have achieved something and gives you the ambition to do more. I enjoy saying the words: "I am qualified.”
By Tommy Smith
(This wonderful report from Tommy Smith first appeared in the Lincoln Traveller Initiative annual report and we are grateful to them and Tommy for allowing us to republish it)