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Carpentry student Maks becomes Royal Apprentice

Monday 24 August 2015

Maks Kaminski came to Richmond upon Thames College from Teddington School to study Level 1 Carpentry. At the end of his first year and with the help of the college, he successfully applied for an apprenticeship with Historic Royal Palaces and is now part of the Maintenance and Facilities Team at London’s famous Hampton Court Palace.

We caught up with Maks to find out how his apprenticeship was going and what life was like working at one of the country’s top tourist attractions.

“I took the Carpentry course at the college after attending a taster session with my school and really enjoying it,” Maks explains. “My first year at Richmond was brilliant and taught me the basics of carpentry and joinery whilst giving me the confidence and knowledge to pursue the trade as a career. The teachers on my course were great and their guidance and connections in the industry became invaluable.”

At the end of his Level 1 course, Maks, along with seven other Richmond upon Thames College carpentry students, were interviewed by Historic Royal Palaces for an apprenticeship position at Hampton Court. “We trusted Richmond upon Thames College to provide us with good candidates and Maks really stood out as somebody who was capable and willing to work hard,” explains Mathew Coulter (pictured below, left), Team Leader of the Maintenance and Facilities Team at the Palace. “He gave an excellent interview and presentation and displayed all the qualities we were looking for in an apprentice.”

Max Kaminski 3

Since joining the team at Hampton Court Palace, Maks has been under the tutelage of Mathew as well as the Palace’s Master Carpenter, Cliff Hounslow. “It’s scary how much these guys know and I’m very fortunate to be learning new skills from them in such an amazing setting,” Maks says. “I’ve been working on door hangings where the wood is over 200 years old so I have to make sure I’m paying attention and working to the highest standards.”

As part of his apprenticeship, Maks will be returning to the college once a week over the next two years to complete his Levels 2 and 3 in Carpentry. “Everyday I wake up happy to go to work and still can’t believe I’ve got such a great job!” Maks says. “Choosing Richmond upon Thames College was the best decision I could have made and being part of the team here at Hampton Court is proof of that.”

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