Meet the Team- Ryan Matthews

Nineteen-year-old Ryan Matthews originally applied for a position with Glendale’s North East arboriculture team when he was 16 years old. Unfortunately, due to a lack of opportunities, his application was unsuccessful.

Two years later Ryan was accepted onto a Tree and Timber apprenticeship run by the North East arboriculture contract in association with Kirkby Hall College and has just been offered a full-time arborist position with the team.

A local lad through and through, Ryan was a volunteer lifeguard on South Shield’s beach before he applied for the apprenticeship. He also worked for Sunderland City Council undertaking horticultural tasks for a short while, delighted to be working outside.

The young arborist completed his NVQ Level 2 Trees and Timber qualification in late 2013 and is due to start his Level 3 in early spring. “The aim is to hopefully keep stepping up after Level 3,” Ryan explains.

Ryan is looking forward to undertaking his Level 3 and adding to his existing NPTC certificates so that he is qualified to survey trees.

“There will be quite a lot of written work involved in the Level 3,” he says. “ I find the scheme really good, my favourite bit is the practical side, going out there and doing the work. I like the work because you are not in the same place every day – one day I will be felling trees and then the next day planting.”

Dave Curry, contract manager of North East arboriculture was really pleased to be able to offer Ryan a full-time position with the company and is glad that the apprenticeship has helped him achieve so much already.

“The great thing about apprenticeships is that it gives those who didn’t do as well at school, or didn’t go to college, the chance to gain applied skills in the workplace and build experience in their chosen industry,” Dave comments.

“Ryan is a really nice guy with a really positive attitude,” he continues. “He shows a lot of determination and any task you set, be it climbing or cleaning in the depot, he does it to the best of his ability without making any fuss. I would like to see him continue to become an excellent, highly skilled climber with us.”

“Before I came to Glendale I knew nothing about the industry,” Ryan says. “But I’m trained now; I can get out there and do stuff. I know what I am doing. You get to know people too and that’s really good. I would definitely recommend it.”

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