The path to becoming a plumber, or any type of tradesperson for that matter, is traditionally seen as being long and limited: several years of training as an apprentice alongside a professional whose main interest is the job at hand (and not the eager apprentice looking over their shoulder).
This image, some might feel, isn't particularly inspiring, and might even deter people from pursuing a trade career. However, this model is not the only way - nor is it the best way - to become a professional plumber.
Here at Access Training, we offer intensive plumbing courses in a professional and private training centre where the main focus is on teaching, rather than working, and your chances of learning how to do quality work quickly are far higher. Not only that, but our intensive courses are much shorter and more efficient, giving you a range of experience in a matter of weeks, rather than years.
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We understand that some might approach a fast-track course offered by a private training college such as Access Training with suspicion - after all, how can a trade, something traditionally considered to require years of experience, be taught to a high enough standard in only a matter of weeks?
At first glance, it certainly seems implausible, but when you take a closer look into what the old-style apprenticeship process actually consists of, you might be inclined to think otherwise...
Five Reasons to Choose a Fast-Track Course Over an Apprenticeship
1) It takes less time.
This might go without saying, but a fast-track course takes far less time than an apprenticeship and the advantage of this is phenomenal.
Not only does it save you several years of valuable time, but it also means that you can begin working and earning much sooner. In the time it takes to complete a full apprenticeship, you could earn back the investment you made for a private training course ten times over!
2) It produces better results.
The feedback we receive from the companies who employ our students is largely supportive of the fast-track system. They claim that students trained on fast-track courses retain more information than those who have been training in apprenticeships for years.
Students are excited and enthused by their quick development on the fast-track course and are able to capitalise on this, increasing their employability, whereas those who have spent years as apprentices might have become less enthusiastic about their occupation.
In other words, you're more likely to still want to do the job after a fast-track course than an apprenticeship.
3) It involves intensive learning.
Back in the days of apprenticeships, the main style of learning was through observation, and very little else. For example, an aspiring plumber would have to spend a few hours a week following a qualified plumber from job to job, usually doing menial tasks like making tea and carrying tools.
Old style apprenticeships took years because the majority of time was spent shadowing the qualified worker and learning very slowly, not by experience or practice.
A fast-track course constantly involves learning about theory and is very hands-on, so that the skills you learn are put into immediate practice.
In a week, every single day on any trades course would be entirely dedicated to learning everything you need to know about that particular trade, instead of it being slowly drip-fed to you over a number of years.
4) The teacher's focus is on you.
In a typical apprenticeship scenario, the professional worker will most likely be focusing very little on the young aspiring apprentice eagerly looking over their shoulder. Rather, they will be concentrating on the job at hand, wanting to get it done to a high standard and in the shortest time possible.
As a professional who might have years of experience in the trade, any questions the apprentice would have might seem tedious and are likely to be either ignored or not answered in full. As a result, very little is actually learnt.
However, in a private college, the tutors' jobs require them to do exactly the opposite: to ensure that the students are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills they need in order to become skilled professionals. They are patient with newcomers, willing to fully explain theories and ready to take time to demonstrate procedures.
It's no surprise that apprenticeships take so long to complete - the difference is enormous.
5) You'll still get 'on-site' experience.
One possible argument to be made against fast-track courses is that they don't provide 'on-site experience' in the same way that apprenticeships do.
However, this can only be a good thing. On-site experience of the kind provided by apprenticeships still involves little or no practical or theory training, and is, in essence, quite useless - one might as well pay a visit to a construction site and watch the builders working.
However, as a privately-funded company, Access Training has the necessary resources to provide excellent facilities that are designed to simulate real working environments. Bathrooms, radiators, boilers and walls are among a variety of home appliances and structures you will be practising on during your course, in which the skills you learn can be put to immediate good use and be quickly developed as a result.
This style of teaching creates an effective fusion between having practical experience and essential knowledge.
Although apprenticeships are still considered as being the natural step on the route to a traditional working life, they are becoming increasingly a thing of the past: an inefficient, rusting machine in a new age of development.
A fast-track course is the best way to ensure workers are enthusiastic and skilled professionals by the end of their training. Enquire today about a course at Access Training - our professional course advisers will be guide you in the right direction.
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UPDATE - APRIL 2020: We now offer LIVE ONLINE LEARNING, so you can begin your plumbing training from the comfort of your own home! You'll attend virtual classroom sessions and learn all the fundamentals of plumbing before attending our fully-equipped training centre for the hands-on part of your course. Click here to learn more about our e-learning options.