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Have you considered becoming a plumber’s apprentice?When it comes to learning new skills, there’s nothing like working alongside a professional who can show you the ropes. Apprenticeships offer real working experience combined with time spent in the classroom to help cement practical knowledge. And you get paid! What’s not to like? For aspiring plumbers, an apprenticeship makes a good deal of sense. Think of it as employment, with study on the side. You work the equivalent of four days a week with an experienced plumber with the fifth day set aside for college or a specialist training centre. If you stick at a plumbing apprenticeship and work hard, by the end you’ll have gained an industry-recognised qualification and possibly walk straight into a job. All this and you don’t have to pay for your training. Apprenticeships have had a shake up over the last few years and are now run by The National Apprenticeship Service, which is part of the UK Government’s Department for Education. The new schemes are more flexible than those in the past and the great thing is you no longer need to be a recent school leaver to take part.
Am I eligible to become an apprentice?Anyone over the age of 16, living in England, is eligible for an apprenticeship - there is no longer an upper age limit. Similar schemes run in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Recently, there have been changes to the minimum entry requirements for maths and English, allowing people with a learning difficulty or disability to access a level 2 intermediate apprenticeship as long as they can achieve an entry level 3 qualification during their training.
Something for everyoneThere are two different levels of plumbing apprenticeship:
- Intermediate – NVQ Level 2 plumbing apprenticeship, which is equivalent to five GCSE passes at grade 9-4 (A*- C)
- Advanced – NVQ Level 3 plumbing apprenticeship - equivalent to two A Level passes or a Level 3 Diploma