If you’re interested in a career in the plumbing industry, an apprenticeship would be your best course of action. You get to learn, earn, and experience life in the plumbing industry, and gain certification that qualifies you to work as a plumber anywhere in the world.
A plumbing apprenticeship consists of three components: on the job learning, distance learning, and block courses. Most of your learning will be done on the job. You will be shown the ins and outs of the job by your supervisor, and as you progress you will have the opportunity to get more and more hands-on. You will be given a record book to track your progress and provide evidence that you have demonstrated particular skills.
Distance learning is the theory-based component of your apprenticeship, which you complete in your own time. You will be sent study materials and guides that you are required to work through prior to attending block courses. This also involves using extra textbooks and reference materials to support and assist your learning from the study guides. You’re given new material to work on at the end of each block course, and its important that you keep up with this so you don’t fall behind and your apprenticeship takes longer than it needs to.
Block courses involve hands-on practical work, and run at a polytechnic. Here, you will be assessed on your practical work, and learn about aspects of the work that may not be covered on the job. Block courses usually run for one week, and take place every 17 weeks throughout the apprenticeship. You’ll be tested on the theory covered in your study guides during these courses. Block courses are available in Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Invercargill and Christchurch, at various polytechnic institutions, so no matter where you choose to work, there should be a place for you to attend courses relatively nearby.
When you’re looking for an employer, you may be best to find somebody who can offer broad, general training. If they are somebody who specializes in certain jobs, they may not be able to teach you everything you need. If this is the case, you can arrange to spend time with another company for training in other areas, as well as look to polytechnics, who should be able to offer some hands-on training.
For more information on plumbing apprenticeships, you can visit: ito.co.nz