Teenager Lewis Cottle says switching direction to an apprenticeship course is helping to "set me up for life".
Seventeen-year-old Lewis was one of two applicants chosen by Ilkeston-based Belfield Furnishings to be taken on to work in its maintenance team.
Lewis, who lives in Ilkeston, said he was impressed by a presentation by the company at college. He decided to apply so he could learn a variety of trades.
Richard Newby, HSE and maintenance manager at Belfield, said Lewis's application was one of those which stood out and he was one of two candidates taken on.
Lewis has now switched from a Level 1 Brickwork course to study towards a Level 2 Diploma in Maintenance. He is studying one day a week at college and learning the ropes with Belfield on the remaining four working days.
Richard Newby, Belfield's HSE and maintenance manager said the company's aim was to "invest time and training so our apprentices gain the skills they need to be part of the team for the long haul." He added: "We're pleased to have them on board."
At college the teachers show you the easiest and best ways to do a job. They really help if you are struggling with something.
I like the job because it's actually doing something real. If you do it, like a factory floor, it's here for the next 30 years or more. It's an achievement.
It's great having some money coming in to save up. I can manage my money better to help set me up in life.