In the academic year 2022/23, 752,150 people participated in apprenticeships in England (House of Commons Library, 2024). Renowned as the hands-on learning experience of choice, modern apprenticeships are the fast track to gaining practical experience for immediate impact. This post will outline the general expectations of plumbing, gas and electrical apprenticeships available in the UK, and underscore how Paine Manwaring, named as a Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employer, shapes experienced plumbers, gas engineers and electricians our customers can count on.

Paine Manwaring named as Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employer

What do plumbing, gas and electrical apprenticeships involve?

In order to earn a Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician NVQ Level 3 qualification, future plumbers need to successfully complete a Fitting and Servicing Domestic water, heating and drainage systems apprenticeship training course. Generally, this type of practical learning includes getting to grips with health and safety requirements, working with core plumbing systems, how to deliver quality customer service and to communicate effectively. The End Point Assessment (EPA) involves a multiple-choice exam, a design project, a practical installation test, a practical application test and finally a professional discussion, which normally takes place during the final three months of the apprenticeship.

Gas apprenticeships teach future gas engineers to correctly and safely install, commission, service and maintain domestic gas appliances. The training includes relevant electrical or mechanical principles, regulatory compliance and comprehensive product and energy efficiency  knowledge in order to provide the correct advice and guidance for customers.

Electrical apprenticeships focus on the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical systems in domestic, industrial and commercial settings. Apprenticeships prepare future electricians to  work efficiently and economically without the need for supervision. The assessment typically includes a portfolio of evidence and an EPA.

How long is a gas, electrical or plumbing apprenticeship?

A plumbing apprenticeship typically lasts 48 months (4 years) in England. By the end, newly qualified plumbers can register as EngTech by the Engineering Council through the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), indicating their abilities to perform as plumbing professionals. This time period may be reduced if the candidate has already gained relevant knowledge and skills related to plumbing, which is recognised as Accredited Prior Learning.

A gas engineering operative apprenticeship (Level 3) generally takes 18 months to complete, however our in-depth Steve Willis training programme is 30 months long, including a 3 month EPA and is ACS (Accredited Certification Scheme) aligned.

Electrical apprenticeships, much like plumbing apprenticeships, are 4 years long. Candidates can choose between a Level 3 domestic apprenticeship or a Level 3 installation and maintenance apprenticeship, which focuses on installing and repairing electrical systems in businesses and construction sites as well as homes.

How do you get a gas, electrical or plumbing apprenticeship?

When selecting candidates for plumbing, as well as gas and electrical apprenticeships, employers require individuals to have English and Maths at NVQ level 2 or GCSE Grade C/4 or above on entry. Other entry requirements are determined by the employer, but generally anyone 16 years of age or above can apply.

How hard is it to get a gas, electrical or plumbing apprenticeship?

The difficulty of securing a plumbing apprenticeship can vary depending on location, demand for apprenticeships in the area, your qualifications and experience, and the competitiveness of the application process. The same can be said for gas and electrical apprenticeships too.

The ability to demonstrate the key behaviours – honesty, dependability, having a willingness to learn, working well with others and using resources effectively – can enhance your chances of winning the apprenticeship. Aspiring plumbers, gas engineers and electricians can improve their chances by researching apprenticeship opportunities in their area, preparing a strong application and actively seeking out opportunities through networking and contacting potential employers.

How does Paine Manwaring train exceptional plumbers, gas engineers and electricians you can count on?

With a rich history in delivering plumbing services, as well as electrical and gas services to our customers, Paine Manwaring is an experienced employer of apprentices. We select individuals that show the future promise our valued customers can rely on. But these individuals aren’t grown overnight; we invest in our people, providing opportunities to develop both hard and soft skills to ensure you get the service you need.

All of our plumbing apprentices complete the Plumbing and Domestic Heating technician NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship at Chichester College in order to become a professional Paine Manwaring plumber.

Our gas engineer apprentices follow the officially recognised Steve Willis Level 3 Gas Operative Heating & Renewables Apprenticeship, Pathway C, which consists of CCN1, CPA1, MET1, CENWAT, HRT1 qualifications. Once successfully completed, our apprentices are enrolled on our Gas Safe Register as a fully qualified Engineer.

When it comes to training expert electricians, our apprentices must successfully complete the Installation Electrician/Maintenance Electrician Level 3 Apprenticeship (HIP Standard) also at Chichester College, which leverages work based learning to develop our apprentices’ core experience and skills.

We are very impressed with how the NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship compliments our own in-house on the job training. Our approach nurtures our apprentices through each stage of the learning process, developing fully qualified and reliable plumbers, who choose to stay with us for years to come”.

–  Adam Doick, Director, Paine Manwaring

Work based learning develops practical skills

All of our apprentices work alongside experienced professionals on real world projects, gaining expertise from day one to successfully plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and heating systems, as well as gas and electrical installations in different environments, in both day-to-day and emergency situations.

A special focus on customer care

We place a strong emphasis on developing strong customer service skills. We train our people to keep workspaces tidy and to communicate respectfully, especially as a lot of our work is carried out in our customers’ homes. Find out what our customers have to say about our quality of customer service here.

Developing expertise

All Paine Manwaring plumbing apprentices are required to fully understand the ‘science’ of plumbing, which involves the accurate measuring, marking, cutting, bending and joining of metallic and non-metallic pipework.

When it comes to our gas apprentices, our programme focuses on the safe installation, commission, decommission and routine maintenance and repair of gas pipework installations and associated equipment.

Our electrical apprenticeships prioritise training our future electricians to work confidently in both indoor and outdoor environments, with a wide variety of different electrical equipment and systems, as well as being proficient in using drawings or specifications to effectively plan jobs and pre-order the necessary installation materials.

Familiarity with exciting new technologies

As alternative, environmentally friendly technologies enter the market, we ensure our plumbers in particular are familiar with and capable of working with them. Exposure to heat pumps, solar thermal systems, biomass boilers and water recycling systems, and knowing how to maintain them are all included in our apprenticeship.

Health and safety is of paramount importance

Understanding the science behind plumbing systems, gas appliances and different electrical installations, coupled with practical skills development allows our apprentices to work confidently either as part of a larger team or individually to ensure all systems are safely set up and correctly maintained.

We don’t skip steps

Our own professional team provides tailored and constructive feedback through ongoing one-to-one mentorship sessions. In this way, each of our apprentices can make sure they have perfected their skills and understanding of specific techniques before moving onto the next level.

We provide the right kind of environment to empower our apprentices to say when they require additional learning opportunities, or even extra support in their daily lives. We are proud to share that we are an accredited Mental Health First Aider from MHFA England, which recognises our commitment to identifying people who might be experiencing poor mental health and offering appropriate support.​

Paine Manwaring is proud to be recognised as a Mental Health First Aider by MHFA England

Consistency is key

Upon completing their apprenticeships, we provide our newly qualified plumbers, gas engineers and electricians with enticing career advancement prospects, including access to future training programmes. Recognising the value of consistent service for our customers, we prioritise fostering a team of professionals who are committed to staying with us.

Paine Manwaring is an established, professional and highly experienced supplier of plumbing, heating and electrical services to domestic and commercial customers throughout Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire.

For more information about the heating, plumbing and electrical services which we provide for both homes and businesses get in touch with a member of our expert and friendly team today on 01903 237522 or (Worthing) or 01243 784711 or (Chichester).