Apprentice turns his hobby into a career

What started as a hobby building BMX jumps in his back garden, led talented carpentry and joinery Apprentice from Cheshire College – South &West, Max Tonge, 19, into a career making high-quality bespoke furniture and kitchens.

Max, from Frodsham, an Apprentice at furniture makers Brownlow in Chester, said: “After my GCSEs I started studying carpentry and joinery at Cheshire College – South & West. I’d always been interested in building things out of wood– so it seemed like a natural choice for me.

“After a few months I applied for an Apprenticeship at Brownlow. I was delighted to get accepted as it meant I could learn from talented craftsmen, earn some money and still study at College.”

Max started on a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery and then progressed onto Level 3. Max added: “Working for Brownlow is an amazing job. We custom build furniture that is unique and personal for customers – one of the most unusual requests was to design a secret door in the back of a wardrobe.”

As well as developing his craft, Max has also grown in confidence since starting the Apprenticeship. Max said: “I’m definitely more confident as not only do we build the furniture in our workshop we often have to deal with our customers face to face in their own homes when we fit the furniture. The best thing for me is the satisfaction when job has finished and installed in a customer’s home.”

For more information about studying Carpentry and Joinery at Cheshire College – South & West’s Ellesmere Port Campus from September 2018 visit or call 01244 656555.