There are now so many plumbing apprenticeship schemes coming into existence that it is difficult to determine which scheme is best for the school leaver or adult wishing to get into the plumbing industry. As a general guide it is now at the time of writing this article (March 2013) extremely difficult to get a plumbing apprenticeship in the normal sense.
It is common though to be told by school teachers and many college instructors included private plumbing training schools that apprenticeships and opportunities for training within plumbing companies are out there and very available.
They suggest that candidates should write to local plumbing companies or plumbing employers with a view to getting plumbing training or a plumbing apprenticeship so that they can gain the practical skills required to add the essential hands on experience to their plumbing portfolio.
Many plumbing courses at colleges up and down the country, in most major towns and cities will accept a plumbing trainee on the understanding that they will complete practical plumbing skills within a proper commercial plumbing environment. What the candidates are not told however is that their academic college training will not continue if this cannot be met.
Many private plumbing training schools take money; often thousands of pounds for worthless training that they know will not benefit the student in the real world of commercial plumbing within any plumbing industry at all.
It is a growing problem, and the down-turn in the economy has made the situation worse.
The traditional plumbing apprenticeship may die a death within a few years if no high profile intervention is made.
Some of the largest organisations have power to help a few potential plumbing apprentices, such as the Joint Industry Board (JIB), the JTL training schemes and a few other larger organisations, but these opportunities also are few and far between.
It is essential then that any newcomer to this industry including anybody that has ambition to work as a plumber should be aware of the facts. Many thousands of private plumbing courses are clearly not up to the job in providing the skills that will enable the student to work in the real world.
A bone-fide plumbing apprenticeship with a local company is often the very best way. This is the good old fashioned system of practical work and day release college for written skills. It is a difficult choice but plumbing apprentices should grasp the fact that working within this structure often comes with very poor pay structures. It’s a trade-off between training for the future against decent pay from the outset.
Often, plumbing apprenticeships go to the people who are prepared to accept the lowest pay, for the greater reward later on. It was like that 20/50 years ago, and it looks as though there could be a new resurgence of this in the future.
Either way, potential plumbing apprenticeships are now going to be hard won.
Plumbing Apprenticeships in 2013