female plumber, central heating, radiator installation

Taking on our first female apprentice

It was September 2018 and this is when our business starts to become really busy. People come back off their holidays and the weather starts to change so people start to use their central heating.

College starts and school leavers decide to look at their careers etc. or maybe the parents just don’t want them getting under their feet or lying in bed all day.

I was starting to get busy and was thinking about taking on an apprentice to help with the workload when the phone rang. It was a girl asking did we have any apprenticeships available? It’s always boys that ring up so i was a bit taken aback as she sounded quite feminine and spoke very articulate. I just told her to send a C.V in and I would have a look later when I got home.

I’m sending quotes, invoices and looking through emails that evening and came across Leahs’ C.V and remembered the phone call earlier that day. She hadn’t put her date of birth on so i contacted her as it depends on her age whether she receives funding or not. She was 21 which is actually a good age because i find the lads at 16 are a nightmare as they don’t seem to want to be there, i think the quickest sacking was a day.

Trial Period

All apprenticeships have a trial period who start with us. It’s for a week and that shows me that they can do the work and are going to fit in with everyone and that they’re happy. It’s also amazing how well behaved they are in this trial period by the way. Phones in pockets, very quiet, and a pleasure to be around.

I’m interested as to why a girl would want to start a career in this line of work? It’s dirty and you’re going to get a few nails broken along the way. She told me she had rang a lot of plumbing & heating companies in the Liverpool area and everyone had said no. 2 sides of A4 she had filled out with all businesses that she had rung to no prevail. If i’m really honest she rang me at the right time and place and I was just desperate for someone to start and I told her she would not get treated any differently to if it was a boy doing the same job.

On day 3 of her trial period the apprentice that I had employed wanted a 2nd term with ourselves and I had to make a decision but Leah seemed so determined and pleased with the opportunity I decided to let her see the week out and I had been very pleased with her work ethic. During this time I was very impressed and realised that she was going to be an asset to the business and decided to offer her an apprenticeship.

power flush a central heating system, central heating clean, sludge removal, magnetic filters

Apprenticeships in business

I always like to offer an apprenticeship every year and find that there is good and bad out there. I would say school leavers are not particularly good as they kind of just hear about the money and don’t realise the work involved.

The ideal age for me is 20 plus as by this time the person realises the career path they want to take. Leah has pleasantly surprised me and i’m so glad all the other businesses turned her down otherwise I would of missed out on a great employee.

Because she was over 18 unfortunately we had to put her through the course which should be looked at better by the government as under 19’s are subsidised but I looked at it as an investment for the future.

Future Apprenticeships

We currently have an apprentice called Kyle who is also very keen and early signs are that he is going to do really well, which contradicts what I’ve said before as he’s only 16.

It’s great to be able to pass on my knowledge and skills that you don’t get by just going to college. It’s a lot easier to solder pipes on a wall than under floorboards still full of water. We are always happy to interview you for an apprenticeship if you are interested as we will show you everything in your training.

The courses are run from Vauxhall Road College and are done on a day release basis.