- Train4TradeSkills Radio: British Army soldier Darryl talks about the army and his T4TS Plumbing course (train4tradeskills.wordpress.com)
Here’s Stephen’s latest blog:
On my last blog I talked about the job I had applied for, which is a plumbing apprenticeship with Pennaf Housing Ltd. Just to let you know I got through the first stage and have been shortlisted, which I’m really happy with.
I found out that 113 people applied for the two jobs, which is a three year plumbing apprenticeship. They then cut it down to 13 people and 10 people arrived to the assessment day, and I was one of the 10 people chosen.
I had to go to a meeting at EF offices at St Asaph in North Wales, where we had an overview of Pennaf Housing and what the job involves. On the assessment day, we had to undertake a number of tests, an interview and a practical task.
I feel I coped well with this and told them all about my work on the course, how I have got to Unit 25, my practical training and plumbing work experience, and they said they thought highly of my application, which is good.
They are due to invite 6 people to another interview on Monday (today) and then they will decide who will get the 2 places. I’ll have more on my blog next week about whether I get through.
Here’s Cliff’s second diary. Read the rest of Cliff’s diary and look at his photos of practical training on his blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com
Well having got through week 1 successfully and having had a nice relaxing weekend, it’s time to do week 2, the week is set out differently from week 1 as we are given the task of fitting a bathroom suite and radiator from scratch as well as two theory assessments and our BPEC (WRAS) exam, so let’s start at the beginning.
The task for this week is a bathroom suite fitting from scratch, so the morning is spent measuring up and estimating materials and fittings required, this has to be correct as we are to be issued with the materials we request and nothing more. After a lot of deliberation I hand in my requisition form just before lunch and am issued with 18m of copper tubing, various fittings and fixings.
During lunch I discover what everyone else has requested, this makes me feel confident that my calculations are correct. So having eaten I set to work marking out and notching joists where necessary positioning my pipe fixings as I see fit. We are receiving no help with this task but Neil (the tutor) is observing the progress and answers any questions asked. By the end of the day I have installed and pressure tested the radiator and first fixed the hand basin.
I am straight into my bay to make as much progress as possible as we know we are to be broken off at some point to sit theory assessment in Key Plumbing Principles and Common Plumbing Processes, both are computer based multiple choice assessments of about 1 hour each. I have revised these over the weekend and am confident that I will pass without any difficulty which turns out to be the case as we get our results straight after lunch.
Not everyone has passed and some will have to re-sit their assessments on Friday. I am feeling great at this point as my bathroom fit is going well, the afternoon flies by, but we all know that tomorrow is the big one as we have our water regs exam and everyone is nervous about it.
The morning is classroom based with Neil giving a presentation on the water regs. Everyone is putting notes into our water regs manual as the exam is open book so we can take the manual into the exam, even with taken into consideration the whole of the group are stressed, we need 80% to pass but if anyone gets less than 70% then you cannot resit in the same week.
The exam is at 1.30pm and no one feels much like eating so lunch passes slowly. The exam itself is 2 papers again multiple choice, we have approximately 2 hours to complete it, the questions are worded in such a way as to make it a very difficult exam and is marked immediately to allow anyone that got between 70% & 80% to resit immediately and I have to admit that I was one of the people who needed the re-sit, having done the re-sit i came away with a 90% pass mark, much to my relief, I needed a very long afternoon break to recover before carrying on with my bathroom fitting
Today everyone is much more relaxed and cheerful knowing that the week’s exams are behind us, so we can enjoy the experience of the fitting. I have finished my first fix and have my hand basin, WC and bath in position and second fixed by lunch, just another hour and I have my waste pipe work finished.
We are given maintenance tasks to complete ie; re-seating taps changing diaphrams on float valves before decommissioning and as I have finished this by 2pm we are asked to do a permanent 4 person hand wash trough for the centre students to fill in time. It’s nice to know that it will be there for all to use for years to come.
The week has been a roller coaster ride but we are on the last day and it’s all maintenance tasks today and bringing paper work up to date and signed off, we are given several tasks in fault finding to complete all to be done live at working pressure so remembering to use isolation valves was paramount if you didn’t want a soaking.
You can see the group is looking tired but there is plenty of good humoured banter going on, everyone is keen to be off home as some people had a long journey home so after exchanging email addresses and phone numbers we are ready for off.
You can email Cliff and ask him about his Train4TradeSkills course and look at photos of his practical training on his blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com
Craig Watkinson is on the plumbing course with Train4TradeSkills and has a job as a labourer working for a plumber.
The winner of April’s Student of the Month competition, Craig talks about his job and the sort of practical experience he has been getting outside of his course. Craig says:
“I started my plumbing course at the end of Feb and I am really getting stuck into it as I now work for a plumber as a labourer. I also do some jobs on my own under supervision and the other day we went to a property where two radiators were not working, one was cold and the other was lukewarm…”