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Discuss Would you do a Level 3 now, in my position? in the Plumbing Courses area at

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  1. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    I have just about completed my NVQ2 in plumbing and heating. I'm likely to finish my last install for the portfolio tomorrow.

    I am self-employed. Not being an apprentice, I managed this with a mixture of direct observation by the college of self-employed work, and some work-based recorder work from a plumber friend who decided to help me out when I needed certain tasks to be recorded in exchange for a bit of company at work.

    As a 32 year old graduate, I am able to self study the theory side of the course easily enough, and the college knows it can give me a load of stuff to look at and I'll turn up, ask 100 questions, take an exam and get a high mark. So in that sense, I'm a fairly easy student they want to retain.

    College tells me Level 3 is mostly theory.

    College is in Wales which is currently some distance from me. However, the college has managed to convince the Welsh Government to fund my course. So it would cost me the train fare, but not the college itself. Knowing the college, I would be reasonably happy to study there again, as better the devil you know, and I do know the staff there quite well. College doesn't do gas - it does oil, but I'm not especially worried as not that interested in gas work myself and I think there will be a lot of work in renewables in the future.

    My first concern is that my work schedule is not that busy at present. While this gives me the time to bugger about travelling every week or two, it does mean I'm worried about getting the sort of work that might be needed for level 3. While I have, say, converted a heating system to S plan, fitted new CWSC and DHW cylinder and a pumped shower (and half the bathroom) all in the same house, this was for people who knew me well and didn't mind waiting while I managed this single-handedly in their cluttered house. So most of my work is small jobs, ideal for a one-man-band.

    My other concern is that to get what I needed from my level 2 course, I had to ask the right questions from college staff as it was otherwise quite basic and not really related to real-life plumbing, and I wonder if I have the experience at this stage to do the same at level 3, or whether I'd be just as well reading the textbooks for level 3 and waiting a year or two before doing the level 3 course.

    Thank you for reading one of the longest posts ever on this forum, and I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. Cheers, R.
  2. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    If you have the chance and are able to do lv3 I would

    Will better your chance later on if you do decide to go into eco
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  3. townfanjon

    townfanjon Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    You are the real deal at level 3 , but if you remain self employed I doubt it will make any difference.
    If you are a guy who gives 100 % in everything , I would do it ..
    • Useful Useful x 1
  4. Daniel Hall

    Daniel Hall Member

    It's just a more in-depth level 2. I feel it was a waste of time but others may not. If you get offered it for nowt then do it but I wouldn't lose sleep if you decide not too
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    You mean my chance of getting an employed job, or winning contracts/fulfilling them successfully as a sole trader?
  6. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Both you never know what you might want in a few years time or what opportunity might come

    Unvented cylinders is in lv3 as well
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  7. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    I suppose I also need to consider whether this qualification has international recognition... Unvented would certainly be good for renewables, I suppose?
  8. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Don`t take a gap year, grab a free course with both hands and say thank you!
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  9. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    And if your changing / installing an unvented cylinder you can also I can see before long / partly is atm gravity hot water system being in the same environment (having to register once you've installed one)
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    Train fare to Wales £95. Lost days of work, if I'm busy. Compared with cost of local course it may not be cheap at all if I stay in Essex. But I think I might get a better education in Wales if I'm lucky.
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