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  1. TJF

    TJF New Member

    I've been lurking for a while so thought i'd say hello and ask my first question!

    I'm due to retire in 18 months, i'm currently 47 and would like to retrain as a plumber..

    I know that the career change thing and fast track 6 week course has been done to death so apologies. I'm fortunate that whatever happens when i do retire i'll have the financial cushion of a pension, if nothing else this'll give me options and a cushion financially until i need to bring in a wage again,

    Having read numerous threads i fully appreciate the views of time served tradesmen regarding quick courses but as a very "mature" learner i can't see that i have very many options open to me if i want to learn. I've researched to death college courses, there's nothing local to me (Edinburgh) that isn't either a pre -apprenticeship course or a full blown SVQ apprenticeship which would require me to have a job already and be supported by an employer. I may be wrong but i can't see someone wanting to take on a new start at my age. Both of these routes are full time courses, there's nowt part time or evening based. For those based in Scotland i've looked as far north as Perth and as West as Glasgow. If a "proper" college isn't an option then that only leaves the short course type.

    So, if i want to learn in the hope of having enough knowledge to safely tackle small jobs for myself, friends and family or gain some form of employment in the industry how do i go about it?

    Spend the best part of 3 grand on a level 2 6035 tech certificate with a course provider in the full knowledge that i'll probably not actually learn that much either technically or practically, accepting that employers won't be interested in it at all?

    Sit tight for 18 months until i do retire and then attend a pre apprenticeship course at a local college. The course runs for 36 weeks, 3 days a week. The hope would be to progress to some form of employment after this or in an ideal world find someone willing to put me through a full apprenticeship. I'm not really sure skills wise what this would actually give me or if it would assist with trying to gain further training / employment.

    Find someone local ish to me who'll take pity and allow me to either labour for nowt or tag along when it suits them in the hope of learning on the job as i go

    Find someone local ish to me who in exchange for cash their way would be prepared to take me under their wing and give me their time and knowledge(i'd rather do this than pay for a short course as long as i'm actually learning)

    As it stands these are my options, anyone got any words of wisdom or advice?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Eyespy999

    Eyespy999 Plumber

    Evening, just seen your thread. Everyone has a different opinion on training, most adults have some form of transferable skill which they can bring to the trade. Not everone had the opportunity to become and apprentice and learn from the grass routes, however there are a number of colleges that do 6035 level 2 courses, then when you have your diploma you can find work to gain your NVQ. I would suggest that if you are in full time employment, finding someone you can work for free, to gain that valiable onsite experience, then doing jobs for family and friends will allow you to gain that experience and confidence. once you have your NVQ ticket, work for your self, do the hours you want, take on the jobs you are confident with, and if its too much a big job walk away, simple. I am no way affiliiated with any training establishment, i have spent some cash re training however I am slowly getting it back. If you would like a training establishment reccomended PM me. Best of luck!
  3. drip-dry

    drip-dry Active Member

    If I was 47 and thinking of retraining as a plumber ..think I would be straight down the docs...getting checked for early signs of dementur...
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  4. NickDavies

    NickDavies New Member

    Good luck fella... follow your dreams ..we only regret the things we didn't do eh?

    for what it's worth, I've been doing this for 35 years and know my stuff inside out as much as one can anyway....I'm fully tooled up and equipped with knowledge experience scenarios and always been mechanically minded so to speak so not much daunts me.

    Thing is I know what jobs to walk away from! you need to be able to do this, what clients not to get involved with, how to estimate accurately so you can price a job takes a few years of trial and error as we all work slightly differently and at different levels of productivity. a thing called optimism bias took years to overcome,,,"oh yeah half a days work there" when it was 2 days work really, knowing when to say "can I get back to you about this after I have had a think about the job" those things are important too.

    most of my mistakes were made years ago and it's a part of learning... this is why you will struggle to find anyone to help you, although having said that there is a lot of knowledge available on the internet these days which is a great source of learning.

    but here is a stone cold fact...I'm trying to get on the gas safe register and no one I have asked has been interested, before corgi and the gsr I did domestic gas, petro chem, flare stacks, medical gasses, oil, halon blah blah blah I've done the practical and multiple choice exams at college and my city and guilds allows me to formally take the tests but without 40 portfolio hours of gas work signed off by a registered engineer it wont happen unless I go back to college and start again...for well over a year I have been trying and let me say this " Talk is cheap" I would have been better off getting back into pipe welding ASME 9 6G would have been easier to get.

    getting a bit of support here on the internet is one thing...knocking on doors and phoning people is another, getting any joy or change out of anyone these days is a big ask indeed,it is only the newcomers and the old school tie brigade who stick together... the middle classes and the working classes are shafting each other need to hit the jackpot and find a plumber with spiritual beliefs and Altruistic tendencies, but good luck just the same you will never know unless you try, I would be very interested in finding out how it goes please post an update?
  5. TJF

    TJF New Member

    Thank you for the replies.

    Drip dry, maybe you're right and i do need my head looking at, time'll tell:eek: What i do know is that in 18 months i've gotta do something regardless of which way i go!

    Eye Spy, i'm unsure if i need a certain post count but i'll send you a PM if that's ok? The offer's appreciated.
    Without going into detail on an open forum i'm unsure what transferable skills i actually have. What i do know is that over the years i've done numerous plastering and tiling jobs for friends and family, with that has come the removal, moving and replacement of the usual baths,toilets and radiators etc. I enjoy the plumbing side of things and would like to learn, simple. I've got a plasterer i work with when the jobs too big or beyond my comfort zone but this isn't something i want to do day in day out. I'm not looking for a quick fix training wise but other than a short course i don't see many options available unfortunately. I appreciate that you never stop learning but it's how i actually start that seems to be the difficult bit.

    Nick, are you that one "jackpot" plumber? Pity you're the other end of the country from me. It worries me that as someone with your skills and experience and no doubt trade contacts that you're struggling to find assistance with a gas portfolio. Is that more down to individual attitudes or just the general state of the industry in general? All i want to do is be given the opportunity to learn regardless of what form that takes, i'm more than happy to take the long route but don't think it's doable, this only leaves 6 week courses. What concerns me is if in all honesty i'm wasting my time and money looking at private training providers and if i am than how can i actually train?

    Thanks again
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