Being leaders in the tourism industry, Signature Living is proud to be partnered in the Hospitality and Visitor Economy Programme at Hugh Baird College. A programme that is enabling students aged 14-19 to have a head start towards a professional career. Supporting students through employment-led education, providing valuable experience in the world of work and utilising mentoring and apprenticeship schemes within recognised skilled roles.
The programme has shown great success with students obtaining employment or going onto higher education when leaving school, significantly reducing youth unemployment figures and increasing the employability skills of UK youth.
It is gratifying when a student’s efforts during the programme are recognised in receipt of an accolade celebrating his or her achievements. Signature Living is proud to have had a participant of the programme honoured for his work within the company and that skills learned during his time with us can be used to support his future.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Isaac Felmingham, who has received the Johnstone’s Young Painter of the Year Award and Apprentice of the Year from Hugh Baird, too. We are hopeful that his nomination to receive a third award, recognising his skills nationally, will provide the same results. We recently caught up with Isaac to ask him how things are progressing so far in the programme and where we should expect to see him in the future.
You became involved with Signature Living through Hugh Baird’s Hospitality and Visitor Economy Career College.
How have you found your time with us at Signature Living so far?
After being put forward for the apprenticeship through the programme, I was excited to begin work with Signature Living. So far I have enjoyed all the work I’ve been involved in. The projects I have been part of are always interesting and a bit different.
The programme arranges support for you through mentors within your chosen industry.
Have you found the team at Signature Living knowledgeable and able to guide you into utilising your new-found skills?
Working on site with the painting and decorating team, Signature Living has allowed me to learn my skills from those who are operating at the highest standards of the industry. Having been taught skills in various aspects of my desired job role, I am able to complete my work to the high standards set by the hotel group. Being able to carry out jobs without supervision is a real confidence builder and I owe this to the team of mentors I have worked with. It’s been a great experience so far.
Signature Living rely heavily on the quality of décor to uphold the luxury of their brand. Working towards achieving such high standards must give you pride in the projects you have completed so far.
I have great pride in all the work I have been involved in, and I believe this comes mostly from the fact that I enjoy it so much. Being part of a team that play such an important part in upholding the Signature Living brand is rewarding in itself.
We are delighted your skills have been recognised during your apprenticeship at Signature Living, not only by your mentors and team members but by an awarding body such as Johnstone’s Trade.
You must be extremely pleased to have won your regional heat, and we understand you have now been short-listed for the final due to take place at the National Painting and Decorating show this year in November.
Yeah, I am really thrilled to have been selected for the opportunity, as the awards run nationwide and there are only 8 heats running across the country. To have been the winner of my heat would have been enough, but going on to possibly win a national recognition would be great. Here’s hoping it’s me, as I feel it would honour those who have helped elevate my skill level and would be a way to say thanks. Also, the prize for winning the national award is £2,500, so lets hope I’m fortunate enough to be recognised at that level.
With so many fun themes and luxury products to work on at Signature Living, you must find many opportunities to utilise different skills that you have learned. Do you have a favourite project you have worked on during your time with us?
As you say, Signature Living has so many fun, unique styles and concepts, it’s hard to narrow my experiences so far down to just one favourite. I can definitely say that of all the buildings I have worked on, painting and decorating at The Shankly Hotel has been one of the best experiences. I had an opportunity to learn a little more about Liverpool’s history and, due to the way in which the memorabilia is incorporated into the décor of the hotel, this became a fun way to gain some new knowledge about the legend that is Bill Shankly.
Decorating is often seen as the one of the most stressful parts of moving into a new home; people struggle with achieving the desired finish of chosen paints and wallpaper hanging is considered a particularly challenging part of DIY.
Why did you choose painting and decorating as a career path and why do you believe you have been able to succeed in your choice?
Due to its difficulty, painting and decorating is a job that few people want to undertake themselves, with DIY becoming an easier job for people to undertake, owing to the wider availability of better quality tools, decorating is still something that professionals are often called in for. I chose this as my career path as I see it being a skill that will be in continuous demand. I also find that decorating is a trade that presents me with new challenges every day. When I have been challenged by a certain project, I find the finished results are something I can take pride in, which drives me to enjoy my work and improving the quality each time.
Liverpool is a city that has inspired some of the greatest artists and creative visionaries of our time.
Do you find working with an innovative brand in the city centre, such as Signature Living, inspiring?
Working within the city of Liverpool is always fun. The city and the people are both so vibrant that it provides an exciting atmosphere to work in and an inspiring team to work with. I am truly thankful that Signature Living has provided me with the chance to work in such an exciting environment.
You have had much success at the start of your career.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
For now, I am enjoying my time at Signature Living. Hopefully, the recognition I have achieved during my apprenticeship will afford a full-time position within the company. Further down the line, who knows where my skills will take me. I do hope that one day I can run a successful painting and decorating company of my own, and give a young person like myself the same start in life I have been lucky to have.
We at Signature Living feel lucky to have such a hard working individual, beginning what is set to be a fine career with us. Our team have had nothing but praise for Isaac’s hard work and dedication to learning his craft and will continue to support him throughout the rest of his programme. Isaac is just one of the many young people we have had the pleasure to work with at Signature Living, and we hope to continue on with more successes like his, providing the youth of the UK with a valuable start to their professional lives through our partnership with Hugh Baird College.