As I’m sure your well aware becoming a plumber is a very rewarding career choice and a career choice that could take you anywhere in the world. Remember it’s not just here in the UK where plumbers are desperately needed they are needed all over the world including Australia, Canada and New Zealand. So just imagine once you do become a fully qualified plumber the world awaits you. They are crying out for your skills and expertise.
So going back to apprenticeships, I would like to explain in detail all about apprenticeship schemes and why they are considered to be one of the very best ways of entering into the plumbing industry.
Different types of apprenticeships
When you become a plumber’s apprentice you’ll be learning all about the maintenance and installation of plumbing components and systems. You’ll also be working with the installation of cold water, hot water, drainage, sanitation, central heating systems, and components and also rainwater systems and you’ll be carrying out all this under minimal supervision.
The advanced level apprenticeship will see your skills broaden and it’s because of this more advanced level that you can enter into the plumbing industry at an even higher level, by this I mean you can carry out and also oversee tasks that will involve servicing and installation. You will also be able to commission and maintain:
- Domestic cold and hot water systems and central heating and sanitation systems.
- Domestic heating and plumbing systems as well as components and also gas fired appliances (warm air)
- Domestic plumbing and heating systems, components, gas fired water and also central heating appliances.
The intermediate level apprenticeship will get you to the level to become a plumber and is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes.
The Advanced level apprenticeship will get you to the level to become an advanced plumber and is equivalent to 2 A Level passes.
The Higher level of apprenticeship can get you to NVQ level 4 and over, or a foundation degree.
By training to become a plumber on an apprenticeship scheme you can expect to be fully qualified in between 2 and 4 years, training this way is usually best suited to those who are planning on leaving school or have just left. You will be trained up by an expert in their field to the highest of standards, making sure that you reach the level that’s required.
However anyone can try and get on an apprenticeship scheme it’s just a bit harder that’s all, and there is an age limit too, which I will mention a little later on. Your apprenticeship will be divided between course practice and theory lessons which will take place at a local college or training centre and of course the practical side of things will be taken care of when you’re out and about on the job with your boss who’ll be in charge of training you up.
Don’t waste this opportunity!
I can’t stress enough how very important this time is to your training, not many people get this precious opportunity, getting on an apprenticeship scheme is very difficult and if you do succeed at getting on one then consider yourself very lucky as not many will ever get this chance to thrive in an exciting industry. So make sure you take the time to absorb all the information that your boss is telling and showing you. Remember you’ll be learning from the very best and from someone who already has all the skills and knowledge, let alone expertise to carry out a successful job, not everything in life can be learned from a text book, getting out there into the real world is greatly beneficial to you at this time in your life.
There are just so many chances by going on an apprenticeship scheme and not just the obvious like training but the hidden bonuses that you may not have thought of, but just think about it, you’ll be meeting and greeting a lot of people throughout this time, people like construction workers, suppliers and also tradesmen, and it’s these people who could be of great help to you when your apprenticeship ends once you become qualified. You would already have a head start over everyone else who are just starting out on their new plumbing careers. A bonus for you that isn’t readily available, so remember grab this opportunity with both hands and enjoy it.
You’ll be getting paid as you train!
You’ll also be paid on an apprenticeship scheme and your boss will have to pay you at least the minimum wage, which is currently £2.73 for an apprentice per hour. These rates are for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and also for those aged 19 and over and are currently training in their first year. However there isn’t a fixed amount as many apprentices will earn much more depending on who is training you up.
You will be paid for the hours you work (at least 30 hours a week) and also any training that’s part of your apprenticeship, which is usually once a week.
Don’t forget holidays too!
Apprentices are also entitled to holidays. You’ll have at least 20 paid holiday days each year and also any bank holidays.
Getting on an apprenticeship scheme
To get on an apprenticeship scheme you don’t have to have any formal qualifications, but what I will say is you definitely need the determination to try your very best in succeeding. Remember this chance doesn’t happen for everyone. As I said earlier there is an age limit, you should be between 16 and 24 and another must is you need to have normal colour vision. If you are over the age of 24 please don’t get too disheartened as you could also get accepted, but it will prove to be much more difficult, that’s all, so remember it’s not impossible but you will have to try your hardest at finding a plumber who’ll take you on as an apprentice. Sadly there are limited spaces available and as you can imagine everyone wants to be accepted but like I say try your best and you never know you may be lucky.
A good idea would be to ring up a few of your local plumbers or if you don’t mind travelling try asking a few further afield and ask whether they’ll be willing to take you on as an apprentice. If they’re not currently taking on themselves they may know of a plumber who is. It’s always worth a go and you may just be one of the lucky ones.
What if I’m not accepted?
Please don’t get too disheartened if you’re not accepted, remember, competition is fierce and there are limited spaces, but at least you gave it a shot. Getting on an apprenticeship scheme is just one of the ways of becoming a plumber there are many more routes into this industry. Training centres that specialise in plumbing courses are another great option for those who can’t get on an apprenticeship scheme and they are located all over the UK, you’re certain to have one near to you. So don’t give up there are many options out there for you.
For more info on plumbing apprenticeships or how to apply the government has a free “National Apprenticeship Helpline” this will provide you with lots of useful tips and advice on where you should go from here. Call them on 08000150600
Or visit this website for lots of info and if you like you’ll receive an information pack. Visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk
Right then, I’ll be going now, I honestly hope you’ve learned a lot more about plumbing apprenticeships and that you feel you have more confidence to get out there and let yourself be known that you’re looking to get on an apprenticeship scheme. It really is a fantastic opportunity for anyone wanting to enter into this very rewarding and exciting career. So good luck with it all and remember if you are one of the lucky ones, use this time wisely and also remember to enjoy yourself too!