Plumbing is in high demand at the moment and it’s not difficult to see why it simply comes down to the fact that it is a highly skilled trade and there aren’t enough of them out there. Becoming a plumber could take you all over the world did you know that countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand are all crying out for plumbers. If you are interested in becoming a plumber and would like to go down the apprenticeship route then read on, and I will try to explain just why this is such a great way into the plumbing industry.
The many types of apprenticeships
As a plumber’s apprenticeship you will be carrying out many different tasks that will include learning all about the maintenance and also the installation of plumbing systems and components. You will also find yourself working with drainage, sanitation cold water, hot water and central heating systems and components as well as rainwater systems. As a plumber’s apprenticeship you will be carrying out work under the least amount of supervision.
There is also the more advanced level apprenticeship that you could progress to and this higher level will allow you to get into the plumbing trade at a higher level and will really broaden your plumbing skills. You will be able to complete different tasks all by yourself and also oversee tasks that may include installation and servicing.
With plumbing apprenticeships at this higher level you will also be able to maintain and also commission, domestic hot and cold water systems, sanitation systems and also central heating systems. You will also work with domestic heating and plumbing systems and also the components as well as gas fired appliances, gas fired water and central heating appliances.
The intermediate level
This level of a plumbing apprenticeship will enable you to become a plumber and is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes.
The Advanced level
This level of apprenticeship will enable you to become a more advanced plumber and is equivalent to 2 A Level passes.
The higher level
This level of apprenticeship will get you up to NVQ level 4 and over or also a foundation degree.
When you become a plumber’s apprenticeship you can expect your training to last between 2 and 4 years, after this you will be known as a fully qualified plumber. Becoming an apprentice is mostly suited to those who are leaving school or are just out of school. However, it is always worth trying to get on an apprenticeship whatever age you are as it is one of the very best routes into the plumbing industry. You will be trained up by a fully qualified plumber who will be an expert at their trade and will be more than happy to show you the ropes and will share their experiences with you. You will be trained up to meet the current high standards that this trade demands.
Your apprenticeship will be split up into theory and practical with the practical, you guessed it, being out and about with your “boss” and the theory will take place at your local college or training centre.
An opportunity not to be missed!
This is such a great opportunity I just cannot stress this enough, it is one of the most sought after routes into the plumbing trade. Just imagine you will be out and about every day gaining so much experience from someone who is already an expert at their trade who will gladly share this with you and guide you all the way through your training, you must enjoy this time but also take this time to fully absorb what you’re being told, this is a chance not many will ever have and not everything can be learnt from a textbook. Sometimes you have to have the hands on experience to fully understand how things work, getting out there and experiencing your trade hands on will surely be very beneficial to you.
You will also be meeting people along the way throughout your training for instance suppliers, tradesmen and construction workers. These people could greatly benefit you some day in the future when you become a plumber.
Expect to get paid too!
As a plumber’s apprentice you will also be paid of course what exactly you will receive will greatly depend on who you are working for but you will be paid at least the minimum wage which is currently £2.73 per hour. This amount is for those aged between 16 and 18 and also for anyone aged 19 and over who are currently in their first year of their plumbing apprenticeship. You will be working at least 30 hours a week and also your theory side of training which is usually carried out once a week.
Remember the hols too!
Yes apprentices are fully entitled to holidays. You will have at least 20 holiday days a year and also bank holidays.
How to become a plumber’s apprentice?
To become an apprentice you don’t require any formal qualifications but what you really do need is determination to succeed in your training, this is such a huge opportunity for you and a chance not offered to many so if you are one of the lucky ones then grab it and try your hardest to succeed.
There are age limits, you should be between 16 and 24 and you must have normal colour vision. If you happen to be over the age of 24 but really want to become an apprenticeship then please don’t get disheartened by this as you can still try and become an apprenticeship. It will be harder than if you fell in the age brackets mentioned but it doesn’t mean you won’t be accepted you can still give it a go and who knows you may succeed.
There are also limited spaces available and as you can imagine everyone tries their hardest at getting accepted. Try phoning a few local plumbers or even those further afield if you don’t mind travelling and just ask them are they taking on apprentices this year, if they aren’t they may know a plumber who is, it’s definitely worth a try and you may be lucky!
If the worst happens
If the worst does happen and you have tried everything but still cannot get on an apprenticeship scheme then don’t worry as there are more great routes into the plumbing industry. Competition is fierce and sadly there are always disappointments. Training centres are a very good option where you will gain hands on experience working in their workshops, they are found all over the UK so there is bound to be one close to home.
For more help and advice check out JTL where you will gain much more info and useful tips.
There is also a website available with tips and advice, and you can request an information pack. Visit www.jtltraining.com
Well that’s about it from me I honestly hope that after reading my article you feel you know more about plumbing apprenticeships and how they work. Yes it can be very difficult to get accepted but of you happen to be one of the lucky few and do get accepted then enjoy it as chances like that don’t happen for many it really is a great opportunity. So good luck on your quest at getting on an apprenticeship scheme!