Merriam-Webster.com defines apprentice as: a person who learns a job or skill by working for a fixed period of time for someone who is very good at that job or skill
AT WPJ Heating, we understand the importance of the apprentice scheme not only to our company but also to the industry as whole. Recently I asked WPJ Heating Director Will Hawksley, what was his view on the hiring of apprentices: “In the plumbing industry apprentices are incredibly important. They bring youth and enthusiasm to the industry. We recruit new apprentices each year. They start at the bottom, learn the trade the proper way, move up through the ranks, get their NVQ’s and hopefully stay with us a long time.“
Being an apprentice is not all fun and games, your working hours may very and the conditions are not always the most pleasant. You may be asked to work in small spaces. You are going to get dirty and possibly wet (it is plumbing). No two days are ever the same. You may be installing a sanitation system on Monday, servicing boilers on Tuesday, laying underground drainage pipes on Wednesday, fitting a bathroom suite on Thursday and instating an intelligent heating system on Friday. But the skills you acquire will help mould and shape your adult life.
As a plumbing apprentice, you’ll learn about the installation and maintenance of plumbing systems and components, including:
• Domestic hot and cold water
• Central heating
• Sanitation systems
• Gas appliances
• Rainwater systems
Apprenticeship schemes are a common route into the industry as learners can achieve these qualifications, gain real work experience and earn a salary. In order to be eligible to be an apprentice you will need to be aged 16 or over, living in England and not in full time education. A plumbing apprenticeship can take between 2-4 years to complete.
1 Merriam Webster Dictionary accessed September 30 (online) http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apprentice