Congratulations this month to Kirsty Price, one of the first to join the Hudson Contract Apprenticeship Scheme, two years ago, when she was taken on by Nigel Harbron at Trust Plumbing, in Scarborough. Kirsty has now completed her NVQ and is an officially qualified plumber.
“It makes me smile when I remember how much persuading I needed to take on an apprentice back then,” Nigel says. He’d heard bad reports from associates in the trade. “But as an ex-tutor, I also knew how important it was to give youngsters a chance. And sponsorship from Hudson Contract made it easier to take the risk.”
“During her training, Kirsty has fitted and tiled around 60 complete bathrooms, and lots more besides. She’s a superstar!”
Says Kirsty, “The on-the-job training has been great for supplementing what we learned in College. I’m a dab hand with old thermostatic shower valves now. And when it comes to replacing kitchen sink taps, having a small pair of hands is sometimes a distinct advantage!
“I’ve learned about the business aspects of running a plumbing firm, invoicing and so forth, but what I love most is that my job is enjoyable, and there’s such a great feeling when you’ve finished transforming a bathroom, and you step back and take a look – and that’s even before you see the wow factor on the customer’s face.”
Planning to repeat the success
Having had such a positive experience with Kirsty, Nigel, again supported by Hudson Contract has how taken on a new apprentice.
At the age of twenty-three, Ashley Grime is regarded as a mature student. He says: “After seven years working in factories, I decided the time had come to get myself a proper skill and chose plumbing.”
Ashley is now two months into a Level 2 Plumbing and Heating course, spending one day a week at Yorkshire Coast College, Scarborough.
Nigel says: “Ash settled in well and is coming on in leaps and bounds. Even his hair has improved in the last month – he no longer looks as if he’s on his way to a nightclub each morning!”
Ashley will also soon start contributing, in between learning the tools of the trade, ripping out bathrooms, creating internal walls and tiling, and learning waste management skills to keep customers’ homes neat and tidy when work is in progress.
Nigel adds: “Thank you to everyone at Hudson Contract for helping to give Ashley and Kirsty a break. You do still hear less than positive reports about apprentices, but these two are proving to be a huge asset to the business and I’m proud of them both.”