When considering your career options, it is useful to know what skills and attributes are needed to be able to be a Plumbing and Heating Apprentice.
You need to ask yourself if you have the following:
• Do you have the correct qualifications to be accepted onto a course and able to get the appropriate funding?
• Are you prepared to invest the time into your training?
• Do you have the confidence to pick up practical knowledge and mental agility to learn?
• Can you work well as part of a team?
• Are you happy to receive instructions and feedback to learn your trade?
To become an apprentice you must be aged over 16, eligible to work in the UK and not be enrolled in other full time education.
At 16 years old the world of work is a big step, you will most likely go through a step learning curve and have to grow up very quickly as you will be working with colleagues older than you. In addition to learning a trade you will be learning how get along in a work environment, the expectation of you will be to act professionally as you are representing your company and you have to have good time keeping, be a good worker and willing to learn.
The advantage of an apprenticeship is that you will start earning an income whilst you are learning a profession. The cost of your training will be fully funded if you are aged between 16-18 and 50% funded if you are aged 19-25 and little or no funding after age 25. You will be required to attend college usually once a week on day release to complete your National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).
You will need to find apprenticeship employment with an appropriate firm beforehand. You will find that some training centres have good relations with local plumbing firms and will help you secure employment, so it is worth contacting your local training centre at the beginning of your job search as they may be able to help provide you with names of companies who are currently looking at taking on apprentices. At R A Brown we use JTL Training and the courses are run through Construction Training Specialists (CTS) in Norwich.
Whilst you can apply for an apprenticeship after completing a university degree, in practice it means your employer would have to fund the cost of your apprenticeship training and therefore there may be less opportunities open to you at this point because of the reduced funding.
Being an apprentice means you would work with a qualified plumbing and heating engineer and you would attend once a week at a local college or specialist training centre to complete your NVQ.
R A Brown apprentices have said “Being an apprentice has given me a more professional manner through experience of being in a working environment. I have gained experience and knowledge I wouldn’t get from college by having a more hands on approach”
Note: Picture is of Jordan Read when he was an apprentice taken at CTS training centre with Mike Bracey from CTS and Rob Steward from JTL.