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Discuss Need advice on how to get back into plumbing in the Plumbing Courses area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Biggs

    Biggs New Member

    I'm an American plumber trying to get back into it over here in the UK. I went to the local college today and basically I was told they wouldnt even try to look at an apprenticeship for me. They said since I have only lived in the UK for 9 months that a plumber would have to fully fund my courses. Basically I was told there was no way I was going to plumb in this country.

    Surely this cant be right, anyone out there have some advice for me on getting back into it? I have no certifications just work experience. I was also told you have to go to school to do plumbing here legally..theres no way I can just start out doing on the job training?
     
  2. Jerry

    Jerry GSR

    Pretty sure anyone can call them selves a plumber....i have met a few.

    We dont have the whole union/jouneyman plumber thing here.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Biggs

    Biggs New Member

    Well over in the states you can work under a licensed plumber (like I was) just wondering if I can do something similar here.
     
  4. Jerry

    Jerry GSR

    Hmmm I dont think you have to here (depending on your defination of a plumber).

    In fact, the number of 'licensed' trades is much lower than the states. Only a few trades can sign their own work off (in lieu of a council building inspector) and the main ones are gas, electric, roofing and windows (Fensa). There will be loads more which i am sure someone will tell us.

    I would advise whatever route you choose, to quickly get some City & Guilds qualifications under your belt asap and insurance.
     
  5. Chalked

    Chalked Plumber GSR

    In the uk you can set yourself up as a plumber with no qualifications. But for gas work you will need to be gas safe registered.
    If you are experienced, just go for it and do plumbing repairs, bathrooms and moving radiators etc.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. WC1

    WC1 Active Member

    I'm afraid you might struggle to get insurance for plumbing work without a "nationally recognised" qualification, "city and guilds" is what most look for but you might want to make enquiries of insurance for yourself. Good luck I'm sure it can be done somehow
     
  7. CBW1982

    CBW1982 Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    One thing we do have here, not sure about the US, is water regulations, which if contravened and found by an inspector will likely to have consequences. Is there no way you can pay for the course yourself? I know some colleges do evening courses as well.
     
  8. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber

    Call yourself a Builder and you can do almost anything.
    Everybody seems to be installing bathrooms nowadays and most of them definitely are not plumbers.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber

    Colleges dont actually care about you. They care about how they get paid - period.

    As has been stated, Stevie Wonder can start plumbing in the UK tomorrow and he could take out insurance. Insurers will take you money right enough, however they may not pay out if you cannot demonstrate competence.

    If I were you, I'd be looking to set on as a labourer to a busy plumber to learn about our different systems. Don't pester just learn. You'll earn little to start, but I feel you'll pick things up quite quickly.

    Do your Water Regs course and set yourself on as many manufacturers courses as possible. Get yourself a G3 course too and then you can do unvented cylinder installation & maintenance.

    You've picked a poor time to start to be honest. The morons in Westminster not deciding on Brexit have caused the economy to slow down so plumbers generally have less work.

    Good luck tho and let us know how you get on.;)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Biggs

    Biggs New Member

    My
    Well my issue is what school to go to and what basic course to take just so I can get a job, I would like to do a home study thing that's somewhat inexpensive but the more I learn about it I'm really put off on trying to plumb in the UK. My knees have never felt better since I've been doing other work anyway. Doesn't even seem like it's worth it to start from the bottom all over again, which to me it's really starting to look like would be the case
     
  11. Jerry

    Jerry GSR

    Whats putting you off about UK plumbing?
     
  12. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber

    Hi Biggs

    Regarding your knees, hey that is how it is in our business. Much of the destruction can be alleviated by appropriate use of hi quality knee pads and assessing the bodily impact of each job. Whilst that may seem a bit 'whimpish' to younger plumbers, the prospect of retirement in a wheelchair is the alternative...

    The best I've seen were Canadian ones; properly tuff and appropriately anatomically designed. Their price reflected a future for wearers NOT being in a wheelchair!

    Look, what WILL get you a job is your attitude. If you are willing, demonstrate competence and enthusiasm someone, somewhere will engage with you. What will not happen is that someone comes knocking at your door. You'll have to get up off your butt and demonstrate that you can add more value than you cost.

    The whole point of posting as I did was to test your mettle. If you are going to give up at a first hurdle because someone paints an unattractive image then it simply isn't for you. Personally I hope you do show the world that it's something you really want.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Biggs

    Biggs New Member

    I appreciate your reply, the thing is though what I'm starting to understand is the best route for me to start from scratch here would be to pay 2500 quid and do a home course just to get a certificate. It's the only thing I've found. Thing is I've already shown the initiative, I've already paid my dues as a plumber in the states. Maybe I'm jaded from my own experience as an apprentice in the states but according to my local college because I'm foreign I'm not entitled to an apprenticeship with college of west Anglia. In order to actually get a qualification I'd have to take 4 full weeks off of work next year, and relinquish my job position just to have the minimum level certification to plumb in the UK. So I mean unless you have a better answer to that (which i would appreciate) I think my career as a plumber may be over lol.
     
  14. AMGasServices

    AMGasServices GSR

    YorkshireDave are you referring to knee pads? Have you got any images of links where I can get some of them Canadian pads from. The ones we use only last a few years.
     
  15. Tea-Break

    Tea-Break Member

    Biggs,
    As already been stated. Currently you need NO qualifications whatsoever to trade or work in the UK
    as a plumber.
    If you’re already a US ‘time served’ journeyman, then all you need is to familiarise yourself with UK plumbing systems, a one day Water Regs course and
    another one day G3 Unvented course.
    The college is only interested in making money, not helping you.
     
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