Bagnalls’ Regional Director Richard Britten on the Importance of Apprenticeships

10 March 2023

Bagnalls is a family business at heart. We love celebrating our employees’ success stories and developing our people, no matter what point they’re at in their career. Whether they’re picking up a paintbrush as an apprentice or joining our management team, every position is valued and has the potential to develop.

Richard Britten joined our team in 1992. He started as an apprentice painter and worked his way up the ranks to become a surveyor. In 2004, Richard became the manager of our Doncaster branch before undertaking responsibility for Wolverhampton, Leicester and London. Now, he is the Regional Director of all four branches!

Here, we talk to Richard about his career, the value of apprenticeships to businesses and why we’re so passionate about supporting apprentices at Bagnalls.

Can you tell us about your career to date?

I’ve always been hands-on and practical, and when leaving education, I knew I didn’t want an office-based job. When a family friend suggested I join his decorating firm as an apprentice, I jumped at the chance. On completion of my first year, I was thrilled to be awarded Apprentice of the Year at my college, which I truly believe helped to put me on Bagnalls’ radar. I joined the Bagnalls team in 1992 within its apprenticeship scheme and I was then on the brush for five fantastic years.

I later became a surveyor and then took on the role of branch manager for Doncaster in 2004. With the help of the fantastic team, we expanded Bagnalls into Leicester. I also added Wolverhampton and London to my armoury. I’m now responsible for the day-to-day running of all four regions.

I genuinely believe my career path has been shaped by the apprenticeship route; it gave me the breadth of knowledge and practical experience I needed to kick-start a successful career. Even though I didn’t set out to join the painting industry, it was the best thing I ever did. I’m a firm believer that having a trade behind you will set you up for life – and this has rung true for me.

What are the benefits of choosing to go down the apprenticeship route?

Having a trade behind you equals job security, in my opinion. Painters and decorators, plumbers, builders, electricians, scaffolders – they will always be required, and your next project will never be far away. Apprenticeships also enable you to earn while you learn!

What is the hardest part of working in the painting and decorating industry?

Painting isn’t glamorous – it’s hard work. The early mornings and graft you have to put in every day can be tough. However, the rapport you have with your team, seeing the end result come to life and watching a customer’s face light up when they see their space transformed for the first time makes it all worth it.

What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given?

Don’t quit! If you stick at it, you’ll find your groove. My first day on the job. I came home and sat on my back doorstep trying to remove the paint from my hands and wondering if this was something I wanted to do. I kept going and allowed myself the time to work out what I enjoyed so I could focus on my strengths and set myself up for success.

Do you have any advice for someone starting their career or apprenticeship?

Be curious and ask questions. Push yourself to learn as much as you can from the people around you and absorb their knowledge.

Richard continues to thrive as one of our Regional Directors. He hopes to inspire future talent and encourage business owners to hire apprentices. We need new talent to keep our trade alive and I encourage all business owners to look at how they can bring in the next generation.

For school leavers and career changers, apprenticeships are a fantastic way to get your foot in the door. They will open a huge number of opportunities for individuals and businesses alike according to Richard, and we couldn’t agree more!

Want to discuss your next project? We offer a professional service from start to perfect finish.

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