Finley Structures: Apprentice County Durham welder forges ahead with firm

A County Durham welder is forging ahead with a career in the construction industry after starting out as an apprentice

Finley Structures' new senior estimators, Andrew Workman, right, and Chris Hodgson
Finley Structures' new senior estimators, Andrew Workman, right, and Chris Hodgson

Andrew Workman, 38, has worked for Newton Aycliffe-based Finley Structures for 10 years and has been promoted to senior estimator.

Established in 2000, the family-owned firm has an annual turnover of £15m and recently worked on a high profile 1,000-tonne contract for Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire.

Its staff are currently working on a 500-tonne job for Shepherd Construction at Ercall Wood Technology College in Telford, as well as a 70-tonne contract for Carillion Building at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.

The business, which provides structural steelwork to the construction industry and specialises in the production of portals, trusses, beams and columns, also completed a 300-tonne contract for Mansell Construction at Wellstream in Newcastle, and a 150-tonne job for Vinci Construction at the University of York and its order book for the coming months remains busy.

Workman initially completed his apprenticeship in fabrication and welding with the Army after leaving Woodham Academy, Newton Aycliffe, in 1991.

After leaving the forces, he found work with Aycliffe-based Ross Wright Engineering and worked for other firms as a welder before joining Finley’s.

Workman said: “The opportunity to progress again came about when the role of senior estimator was advertised, which I applied for and was lucky enough to be offered. It’s a great example of how apprenticeships can reap rewards. There are some people in my position who went down the university route and this shows both avenues can be equally rewarding.”

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