Published: 00:01, 31 August 2014
As a little boy Paulo Pinhal would closely observe his carpenter father at work, skilfully using the tools of his trade in Portugal.
Now Paulo, of Second Avenue, Rushenden, is following in his footsteps – a rising star with a British company which hails him as “exceptional”.
He came to live in England with his family at the age of 12 from Aveiro, a city on the shore of the Atlantic ocean, seeking a better life.
After attending Minster College and playing left back for Sheerness East FC, Paulo entered into a carpentry apprenticeship scheme with construction company Carillion, based in Sittingbourne.
As part of his experience he was assigned to Simon Sherwood, a sub-contractor for Pantera Carpentry, who says: “I’d taken a few of Carillion’s apprentices previously, but Paulo was exceptional.
“He has a natural flair for carpentry – the industry is crying out for young, capable guys like Paulo.”
Achieving high marks in nationally recognised Skillbuild competitions, Paulo will be taking part in the final in November.
He also plans to complete his NVQ Level 3 with Carillion by Christmas.
“That qualification will help me get into site management providing more opportunities and responsibility,” said Paulo. “Everybody I work with, the staff at Carillion and Simon on site, give me every encouragement.”
As a child he would watch his father, also named Paulo hanging doors, fitting kitchen units, and handling wooden cladding on ceilings.
“Seeing how he went about using and applying his tools to get a good result always fascinated me,” he said.
“To those thinking of taking up carpentry as a living I would say be fully committed, it requires passion and motivation but the rewards are good.”
Paulo lives with his partner Bethany Havill with their five-month-old son Logan. “I’d like Logan to be proud of me when he’s older.
“I hope one day he might be able to follow me and my dad in the family tradition.”
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