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Discuss Advice needed - change of career in the Gas Safe Register Forum - Public Forum area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Mudmad

    Mudmad New Member

    Hi all

    newbie so please be gentle,

    ok so I'm having to change job due to developing diabetes, (HGV driver)
    I have always had an interest in working as a plumbing/gas engineer but never had the motivation to follow it through, now it would seem i have had the kick in the backside I needed.

    Ive looked into apprenticeship schemes but they are few and far between, my only other route would be a private training provider and paying the fees myself.

    Im aware that the fast trac route is somewhat frowned on, and apparently hard to gain employment after qualifying, but I have little choice.

    My only concern is completing the portfolio, just wandering if anyone else had had issues finding someone to help complete this part? Does contacting companies and offering to work for free really appeal to them? Or is it the done thing to seek a 'mentor' on forums such as this?

    any advise would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Chalked

    Chalked Plumber GSR

    Being honest. I would just go and get a job with a plumbing firm. They aren't many about, but worth a try. When you get one, enrol at your local college on a recognised course. Expect to be paid minimum wage for three years. And at the end, work long hours on dusty jobs, for about the same as you were earning while driving.
    Sorry to be blunt, but that's the state of our industry at the moment. If you have diabetes are you overweight? ( I know you don't have to be) but you will need to be agile and fit enough to get into some tight spaces.

    How old are you and where abouts are you. A member on here might help.
     
  3. Chalked

    Chalked Plumber GSR

    Being honest. I would just go and get a job with a plumbing firm. They aren't many about, but worth a try. When you get one, enrol at your local college on a recognised course. Expect to be paid minimum wage for three years. And at the end, work long hours on dusty jobs, for about the same as you were earning while driving.
    Sorry to be blunt, but that's the state of our industry at the moment. If you have diabetes are you overweight? ( I know you don't have to be) but you will need to be agile and fit enough to get into some tight spaces.

    How old are you and where abouts are you. A member on here might help.
     
  4. Mudmad

    Mudmad New Member

    No I'm not overweight, I'm not the traditional lorry driver, shirt and tie job for me (fuel tankers)
    I'm 38, in Gloucestershire.

    My plan was to get qualified and see what's about and if needs be go the self employed route, I know plenty of builders to approach, my main concern is if pay the fees and get half way through and can find someone to help get me through the portfolio I'm up the creek and out of pocket
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  5. Chalked

    Chalked Plumber GSR

    That's why we reccomend you get a mentor, or job first. Then you will have a full route. Too many try half way through thier course and find no employment and therefore can't finish.
     
  6. jtsplumbing

    jtsplumbing Plumber GSR

    Thought about anything else ? this is a long and expensive process to go through, look in doing tiling, + you can pick up little plumbing jobs to start you off, always a shortage of tillers (in this area) and money is better, & not always paying out, work out the back of a car, small outlay for tools.
     
  7. Mudmad

    Mudmad New Member

    To be honest never thought about tiling, although if you ask the mrs about my tiling expertise she wouldn't recommend me to anyone, although in my defence I blame jack daniels for keeping me company whilst doing the job

    Somthing to to bear in mind, I appreciate the suggestion.
     
  8. joni os

    joni os Plumber

    Think hard. If your condition is severe enough to bar you from HGV, becoming a self employed plumber, Long hours, Uncertain hours, Anti social hours, with driving in between. May not be the best career option. By contrast, qualifying as an electrician may seem an easier path to self employment, and if confined to domestic and light commercial, the on site guide will suffice in most situations. Apart from ladder, most of your equipment would also fit in boot of car. Don't want to see you throw money at gas course with no end job,when a fraction of that expenditure would purchase all the testing equipment necessary to do domestic rewires, consumer units,periodic certs. etc.
     
  9. Mudmad

    Mudmad New Member

    Diabetes of any kind is an instant ban on driving commercial vehicles, DVLA revoke all entitlements except car/bike/van even taken 7.5t van off my licence, which I've had since I passed my car test.

    I had considered electrician, but always assumed it was years in college to achieve, maybe worth looking into.

    I have to say, you fellas aren't filling me with confidence on the first choice, is it really that bad?
     
  10. joni os

    joni os Plumber

    Suggest you check out, Gov UK HGV Diabetes. Your employer may have stricter criteria, but if you can demonstrate control and awareness there are still options.
     
  11. joni os

    joni os Plumber

    Suggest you check out, Gov UK HGV Diabetes. Your employer may have stricter criteria, but if you can demonstrate control and awareness there are still options.
     
  12. Mudmad

    Mudmad New Member

    As far as I'm aware it requires a period of stability, however insurance companies have different ideas, my company have been great about it and offered alternative employment but stuck in an office all day would drive me mad.

    also, if I'm honest If there's even the slightest chance of having a hypo behind the wheel of what is effectively a bomb I would rather go scrubbing toilets and get peice of mind that I'm not indangering anyone.
     
  13. joni os

    joni os Plumber

    Based on experience of electricians who have come through short course entrance. Once course is successfully completed, a portfolio necessary to join an inspecting body and self certify can be achieved working alone. eg. rewiring a house. Opportunity for work at start of career is therefore independent of those who might consider you future competition.
    Regarding hypo incidents. When things go wrong in plumbing it usually requires an immediate response. Going 14 hours without food and driving home at 2.00am in the morning may be unusual but not unknown.
    Also knew sparky whose wife sent him off to work with a tie. She insisted we call him an Electrical Engineer. Told her I was after a rewire not build a power station.
    Wish you success on future career path.
     
  14. joni os

    joni os Plumber

    Based on experience of electricians who have come through short course entrance. Once course is successfully completed, a portfolio necessary to join an inspecting body and self certify can be achieved working alone. eg. rewiring a house. Opportunity for work at start of career is therefore independent of those who might consider you future competition.
    Regarding hypo incidents. When things go wrong in plumbing it usually requires an immediate response. Going 14 hours without food and driving home at 2.00am in the morning may be unusual but not unknown.
    Also knew sparky whose wife sent him off to work with a tie. She insisted we call him an Electrical Engineer. Told her I was after a rewire not build a power station.
    Wish you success on future career path.
     
  15. Mudmad

    Mudmad New Member

    I appreciate all the advise, however I refer back to my original question.

    has anyone gone through the fast trac process? Experiences finding work?

    self employed/ business owners if such an applicant approached for the portfolio, views?

    anyone gone through with mentoring?
     
  16. oz-plumber

    oz-plumber Plumber

    Why does everyone want a 'career change' to get into Plumbing?

    I want someone to post a thread about a 'career change' to get out of Plumbing.

    Any success stories?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. oz-plumber

    oz-plumber Plumber

    Why does everyone want a 'career change' to get into Plumbing?

    I want someone to post a thread about a 'career change' to get out of Plumbing.

    Any success stories?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. woodsy

    woodsy Plumber GSR

    Honest answer is that the industry is swamped with immigrants , firemen doing it as a second job and Everyman and their dog who wants a career change joining the industry with thoughts it's an easy path to riches. Sorry to be so blunt but at 38, no expierience, the only real chance you've got is if you know someone who is willing to take you on especially the gas route. Very very few working gas engineers are going to train someone, look at the responses etc already on the forum only in the last few days. Negative response but honest and truthful.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Mudmad

    Mudmad New Member

    Thanks to everyone who offered there advise, but it would seem that I have had a luck break.

    Decided to go and have a chat with a few local companies, I thought a face to face chat would be better than a phone call or email, and the second place a visited I got chatting with the md in the reception and it would seem I landed on my feet, I explained my situation which he was very sympathetic to, and offered me a job there and then, obviously subject to references etc, agreed to stump up half the costs of training with the remainder after 12 months of employment. Safe to say very happy with the outcome.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  20. cr0ft

    cr0ft Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    That is indeed very lucky! I'm assuming that with a reception it's a decent sized company then? You must come across very well if they offered you a job just like that. If you work hard I am sure you will make it!

    It's sort of true what people say on here. In my opinion there is no shortage of plumbers, indeed there are over 200 in Lincoln, meaning 1 plumber for every 750 people in the city..

    There is a huge shortage of good plumbers though. By that I mean plumbers who actually answer their phone, do the job correctly first time, look after customer's property and who turn up on time or call ahead if running late. Notice that only one of these relates to a tradesperson's ability to do the actual job. The professionalism is what allows you to charge top rates in the market and earn a good living. In my experience it's not really something you can teach either, people are either that way minded or they aren't.

    The first year will be critical and you will need to learn a lot very quickly. Providing you have a good work ethic though then it's definitely possible. I got into the industry in 2008 and went straight from doing a fast track course to running my own business. It was a baptism of fire but definitely worth it now.

    I learned so much from this forum early on and would definitely advise you to stick around and ask questions! 9 years on I have no regrets at all.

    Keiran.
     
    • Like Like x 1
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