Harry Long, Owner and Founder of Greendown Shepherd Huts, with Austin Cryer
When it comes to the luxury and bespoke shepherd huts we handcraft in-house and so proudly put our name to, we couldn’t do any of it without the dedication and talent of each and every member of the Greendown team.
Our business is built on a foundation of craftsmanship. With a reputation for delivering quality products to private homeowners, independent glamping businesses, wedding venues and hospitality brands, developing people and creating local jobs represent vital pieces of the puzzle.
The Greendown team is after all more than a group of individuals who have a shared passion for bespoke shepherd huts that are luxurious, unique, sustainably made and built to last. We’re a family that has opened up a whole world of opportunities for talented, local craftspeople as well as the younger people who are just starting out in their chosen trade.
We’re here to share yet another success story that demonstrates why investing in people is one of our greatest honours…
We have some fantastic news to share, Greendown joiner Austin Cryer has just passed his apprenticeship in general furniture manufacturing with a Distinction. With this new status, Austin will continue his work delivering the craftsmanship our customers have come to expect through quality products like our bespoke shepherd huts.
Like many younger people, Austin left school at the age of 16 with no clue about what he wanted to do with his career. One thing stood out however, he had an interest in using his hands to work.
Austin enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme with Didac, a national industrial training provider that has been delivering apprenticeships, employment-focused study programmes and short courses for over 25 years. Their specialism supplying bespoke training and support programmes to industry – including the furniture, wood and merchanting sectors – was certain to set him on the right course.
Austin started out with their Level 2 General Furniture Manufacturer Apprenticeship, before completing the Wood Machinist Apprenticeship Level 2 Scheme a year later.
After completing his initial training, Austin worked in a wood joining shop and on-site. Unfortunately, he felt like this wasn’t the right path for him. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for us however, and after receiving a recommendation from a previous employee, we took him on.
Needless to say, he took to Greendown like a duck to water. With the experience of Ricky and Harry to call on, Austin developed his previous experience in wood machining into the complex process of building bespoke shepherd huts, and from there his passion and talent bloomed. He moved seamlessly from first fix to joinery and second fix carpentry. In fact, the only thing he can’t do is plumbing!
It is important to state that training is just the start of the great things that are certain to come for craftspeople at the very beginning of their journey, like Austin. Here at Greendown Shepherd Huts, we do more than just create local jobs and craft quality products, we develop and invest in people.
During his time as a Greendown apprentice over the last two years, Austin has been able to call on the expertise and experience of all our team. He also studied under the supervision of his trainer, Jack Sirl. Jack certainly put Austin through his paces, setting difficult challenges that other students hadn’t undertaken before to really prove his mettle. Austin always completed these tasks to the highest standard, while his attitude and organisation was spot on throughout.
“At the start of his journey with us, Austin wasn’t quite set on what he wanted to do with his skills, but Greendown has seemed to be his calling,” said Jack. “We at Didac admire how he has improved over the last few years and wish him luck honing his craft in the years to come.”
All that’s left to say is “watch this space”!
Photo caption: Harry Long, Owner and Founder of Greendown Shepherd Huts, with Austin Cryer
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