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Business, Training, Want to become a plumber?

Becoming An Apprentice Plumber

plumber apprentice

How easy is it to become an apprentice plumber?

Trainees contact us an a daily basis asking about becoming an apprentice plumber with us.

I’m sorry to have to burst your bubble.

In spite of what the government tell us, apprenticeships in plumbing (more so than many other trades) are about as rare as a black rhino.

Well maybe not quite, but for someone who is over 19 and lives independently, they often don’t work.

Recently we were talking to a female plumber who works in maintenance for her local authority. She has a male apprentice plumber who works with her. He is in his forties and has a wife and children. His wages? £10 a day. That just about pays for him to get to work and back.

He’s one of the lucky ones.

Think about it. Plumbers by and large work alone, possibly in twos. How can 1 person make enough to be a teacher as well as do their job?

Even though the government tell us that taking on an apprentice will pay a company back big dividends in the  long term, a business that makes its money out of the work one person can do can’t afford to support the time it takes to teach another.

Only very big firms can afford to take on apprentices, even many councils only pay £10 a day (correct at time of writing).

That’s why we have taken a totally novel approach.

We’re helping as many women as we can to complete their qualifications by mentoring them, as self-employed Stopcocks Women Plumbers*, they can earn their own money. We mentor and support them while they complete their qualification by being assessed in the workplace.

We’re constantly at the forefront making it easier for women to become plumbers and influencing the industry.

We take whatever the situation is and we adapt.

Give us a ring on 0800 8620010 or send us an email and we can give you a bit of advice about your options

*Stopcocks Women Plumbers is a franchise, as well as providing a full mentoring service for our franchisees we provide all the business support you’ll need to run your own successful business as a self-employed Stopcocks Woman Plumber in your local area. See here for more information.

  • Stephanie
    12:48 AM, 31 May 2016

    I’m, 19 years old been through a tough couple of years completed three different courses and have always wanted to be a plumber. I work for a residential home currently, the pay is good but the hours are poor. I live at home with my mother and sister and I’m struggling to run my car of six hours a week. Looking forward to a reply

    • admin
      9:27 AM, 31 May 2016

      Hi Stephanie

      Please email direct to
      Make sure you put that address in your ‘allowed list so it doesn’t end up in your spam – and then check spam again, hotmail often rejects emails from us.
      We can’t tell whether you’ve trained as a plumber or not from your email. It’d be good to know that and whether you’ve been able to complete it. If you haven’t started training it might be helpful to know that since you are 19 you should be able to get funding help of (at least) half the fees of your college course.
      You’re asking about an Apprenticeship, which usually means someone is training and looking for a job so they can go into college one or two days a week the rest of the time.
      Please also let us know if this is the case for you.
      It might be useful for you to know that everyone in Stopcocks Women Plumbers is self-employed and running their own business. We help women set up and run their Stopcocks business.
      And we need to know where you live.
      Since you are 19 you should be able to get funding help of (at least) half the fees of your college course.

  • Ruth Anderson
    4:34 PM, 29 July 2018

    I’m starting my level 2 diploma (city and guilds) in September, and had been hoping to find some work experience or an apprenticeship and just found this post!

    • admin
      7:52 AM, 30 July 2018

      Hi Ruth

      We’ve replied to your email address, check for an email from Stopcocks

  • Danielle Tinsley
    11:03 AM, 21 February 2019

    Ive just started a plumbing course level 2. 2 evenings a week. Currently work elsewhere doing something completely different. Im wondering wether i should look for work in the plumbing industry while im studying to help me through the course or to carry on with my normal job which is based and suited around my daughters school hours, until ive finished my course. Would be good to chat to a female plumber…

    • admin
      11:50 AM, 21 February 2019

      Hi Danielle

      We’ve replied directly to you by email.
      Check your spam if you can’t find it.
      Let us know if you don’t get it

  • Lisa
    8:22 PM, 20 May 2019

    I’ve been studying my level 2 diploma (city and guilds) in plumbing for a year and I’m now undergoing my practical centre-based training. I’m looking for some voluntary work experience alongside my training and don’t know where to start! I was hoping I could hook up with an experienced plumber to get some hands on experience, is this something stopcocks can help me with or maybe even some advice about where to start looking for something like this?

    • admin
      8:20 AM, 21 May 2019

      We’re often asked about this.
      It’s a difficult one, we believe that because many plumbing companies are very small, they simply don’t have the resources to support trainees. To teach and support someone slows the experienced plumber down, reducing their earning capacity.
      That’s why we recommend going to bigger companies and housing associations for this kind of support. They have more resources.
      We’ll be writing to you directly, so please check your inbox and spam folder

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