Mica May of Stopcocks Women Plumbers answers the most frequently asked questions from women who want to be a plumber.
Q. I’m confused. Whats the difference between all the courses on the internet?
A. This question is complicated to answer so we’ve written two blog posts in reply.
Q. I want to be a plumber and earning money is an issue, can I train really quickly?
A. We don’t recommend ‘fast-track’ training – because it doesn’t give enough time for you to feel fully competent. So if you’re not already totally happy and confident using tools and fixing things, this probably isn’t for you. If you aren’t able to use your training immediately you’ve completed it it’s possible you will have wasted the money you spend on these courses. Better to train more slowly and be able to benefit fully.
Q. I’ve been told I have to have a job to be able to begin training. Help!
A. If the training course you’re going on is an Apprenticeship course you will need a job, since an Apprenticeship means having a job and training at the same time.
Sadly there aren’t as many Apprenticeships available in the trades as the demand for them by people who want to be a plumber.
Reasons for this are simple, and the main one is that the subsidy provided to employers by the government to employ an Apprentice no where near covers the cost of employing and supporting one. For an employer to properly support and Apprentice takes a lot of time and expertise. In small one or two person businesses there just isn’t the room for this.
Most likely to gain Apprentice places are boys aged 16-21.
Q. I’d still love to get an Apprenticeship, earning and learning sounds a great idea.
A. Even when we tell you that Apprenticeship wages are considerably less than minimum wage?
Q. I’ve finished my training and I’ve just been told I’m still not qualified and need to go on another course, what happened there? Now I’m not even sure I still want to be a plumber.
A. Because there aren’t the number of Apprenticeships available to meet the demand there are other courses available. You have probably completed one of these without being informed you will also need to complete an NVQ 2 (or 3).
Check the course number and then read our blog https://www.stopcocks.uk/plumber-training-confusion/
If the course you’ve completed was not a 6035 you may have done an introductory course so need to read the blogs above.
If you want to be a plumber you have to be determined and not give up.
Q. What is the NVQ?
A. The National Vocational Qualifications were introduced across education and training to bring all training and learning in line. In plumbing the NVQ 2 replaced the City and Guilds Plumbing Craft and the NVQ 3 replaced the City and Guilds Advanced Craft. In effect now though the NVQ 2 refers to registration for and completion of a Portfolio an Assessment.
You complete the Portfolio describing specific pieces of work you have completed. To be Assessed requires an Assessor to come and visit you while you are working and watch what you do. They will ask you questions about the work and also ask your customer or your employer or mentor more questions about how you go about your work. Usually you will be visited twice. The cost of this varies and has to cover the travel expenses of your Assessor.
Q. So do I need a job to complete my qualification?
A. Not necessarily. To complete the NVQ 2 or above you will need to work in the world; otherwise it’s like learning to drive without ever going out on the road. It’s far easier to do this if you have someone else around to support, guide and mentor you. That doesn’t have to be an employer.
At Stopcocks Women Plumbers we don’t do training, nor do we employ plumbers, if you want to be a plumber there are a few options.
As a self-employed plumber you can join us once you are about half to three quarters of the way through your course. We’ll help you set up your business as a self-employed Stopcocks Woman Plumber and provide you with mentoring to help you deal with all the unfamiliar things you’re bound to encounter. You can complete your portfolio and assessments while you employ yourself. Call 0800 862 0010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about a licence to work as a Stopcocks Woman Plumber.
If self-employment isn’t for you we also help women get jobs. This can take longer and the number of jobs available varies a lot around the country.
Please email us at email@example.com including a CV and we’ll start you on that process.
For more information please read our blogs in the category https://www.stopcocks.uk/category/want-to-become-a-plumber/