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Becoming an Apprentice Plumber

Starting out

Before you even approach a potential employer concentrate on your grades while you are at school, particularly Maths and English. ICT is also beneficial as, hopefully, you will have ambitions to move on within the industry. Many employers, certainly some of the larger employers, will insist on at least C/D grades in your GCSE's in English and Maths and having these grades can help even further when you get to college as we will find out later when we look at the qualifications.

Finding an employer

The hardest part of becoming an apprentice plumber is finding an employer. There is still some reservation on behalf of employers to take young trainees on mainly due to costs and being let down in the past. Also the employer needs to cover a range of work to enable you to complete your City and Guilds 6189. A good range of work is needed if you are to successfully complete the performance units of the qualification as well as access to different types of installation, such as domestic, industrial and commercial.

When approaching a prospective employer, there are some fundamental points you need to take into account. First thing they will judge is your attitude, not whether or not you had 2 weeks work experience with a one man band 3 months ago. Remember, an employer is looking for reliability, punctuality, initiative and motivation above all other skills and not necessarily your ability to install bathrooms from the first day (although I dare say that would help).


The apprentice route

Fortunately, if you enter the industry under the age of 19, then your training will be funded by the Government.

To become a fully qualified Plumber through the apprentice route, you need to complete all of the qualifications within the "framework" as laid out by the Sector Skills Council, the Summit Skills. To claim your framework, you need the following qualifications:

  • City and Guilds 6189
  • Maths Functional Skills Level 2 (1)
  • English Functional Skills Level 2 (1)
  • Employers Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) (2)
  • Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) (3)

All apprentice frameworks published by the Government now require the completion of the additional parts, you cannot get your final Plumbers certificate unless you have all of the items mentioned above.

1. Provided you have a GCSE completed at grade C an A/AS Level at grades D/E within 5 years of starting, you can be exempted from these parts of the framework. Please speak to your training provider for more in depth information.
2. You will evidence that you have met the criteria is needed to claim your apprenticeship.
3. You will evidence that you have met the criteria is needed to claim your apprenticeship.

The non-apprentice route

If you are just looking to study via a college or training provider, then you can opt to just complete the following:



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