Recent Student Case Studies
Garry The Plumber
"At 44 I decided I wanted flexibility and a better work/life balance. Now I am running my own plumbing company and I have exactly that..."
Nigel and Antony
Nigel and Antony are a father and son who both trained with New Career Skills, one as an electrician and one as a plumber.
Gillian the Plumber
"At 53 I was made redundant from teaching. I seized the opportunity and now run 'The Lady Plumber' my very own thriving plumbing business..."
Debbie the Plumber
"I was fed up with corporate life after 25 years so decided to get into plumbing. After meeting an NCS Career Advisor I knew they were the right choice..."
Huw James (44)
Huw James (44), from Shiplake near Henley-on-Thames, was working for a company which made interactive furniture for universities and schools but earlier this year decided it was time for a change.
Surfing the internet, Huw came across a plumbing course at New Career Skills. After some careful research he decided that this was the right course at the right time for him.
He said: “I checked out what kind of time commitment I needed to make and what sort of qualification I would end up with, as well as the balance between study and practical work. I also read up some of the case studies from previous students; they seemed very positive and very professional, so I decided to take the plunge and signed up.”
Having spotted a gap in the market, he left his job to set up his own property care company. Huw explains: "I'd always been keen on DIY and fixing things and as I am competent in most areas, plumbing seemed to be the right area in which to train and improve my skills." Working as a sole trader gives him the time and the flexibility to set up his new enterprise and study for his plumbing qualification at the same time.
Huw's company, HJS Property Care, targets small jobs such as painting and decorating and of course, plumbing jobs.
In addition, Huw's new job has enabled him to devote more time to his family. Huw said: "My wife is a solicitor and she often works very long hours. This change of direction has made it possible for me not only to support her career but to plan my work schedule around our two young children as well. Doing this plumbing course and setting up on my own means that we have finally got more of a work/life balance."« View More - Click Here « Close - Click Here
Lorraine Dotchin (49)
Lorraine came to a firm decision that she wanted to start her own business after many years in the IT industry. Being a woman and over 40 many people might think that a major life change under these conditions was a tall mountain to climb.
However not only has Lorraine managed to achieve her goals, but she has done it in record time.
Lorraine (49) lives with her husband Mike and daughter in Manchester. In her spare time she is also a member of the TA.
She had held a senior position as a network engineer for some years, but had grown frustrated with the lack of a challenge in her working life.
"I was very very fed up. There was no satisfaction at all in what I was doing. It seemed I was taking all the flack for things not being finished without actually being involved in any process. I had become completely office bound."
So she decided to start her own business, but not in any of the more popular businesses amongst women like hairdressing or floristry. Lorraine decided she wanted to have her own plumbing business!
To achieve this she would first have to do some plumbing training. New Career Skills offered her the ideal opportunity. She could study in her own time, and complete the Domestic Plumbing course they offered at a pace that suited her. The training was first class and she found that she was learning rapidly.
It wasn't long before she was well in to her course and thoroughly enjoying it. At last she felt as if she was actively involved in finding practical solutions, and she was no longer simply telling other people what to do.
Whilst she was doing her Practical Training, she was introduced to the services of New Career Search. New Career Search are a company dedicated to helping the students of New Career Skills to achieve their ambitions at the end of the course, whether it is to get a job or set up in business for themselves. As a New Career Skills student these services were now freely available to Lorraine.
She made an appointment to chat to one of the advisors, and was then given professional guidance on setting up her own business. The advisor also gave her a number of ideas to try out as well as a couple of books published exclusively by New Career Search to assist students in job searching and setting up in business.
"All their advice was excellent! I did what they suggested, and it worked!" said Lorraine. "I had a good read of the books and I have also used some of the templates."
NCS advisors know that networking is one of the best ways to advertise a business, and Lorraine followed this advice too with great success. She began by talking to people in her neighbourhood and telling them what she was doing. In the course of her networking she established a really good relationship with a Corgi registered gas engineer who has been a tremendous help to her.
"I followed NCS advice about not being afraid to work with someone who knows more than I do!"
With his help she hopes to get her Corgi Gas Registration. It also has meant that she is able to take on much bigger projects than she would normally have considered.
Various marketing tactics were also suggested by New Career Search, along with tips about advertising and customer care. Lorraine soon picked up customers, and she hasn't looked back.
"I remember only a couple of months ago we placed our first advert in the paper and I told Mike "I hope we are not wasting our money, what if the phone just does not ring?" Naive or what? Now its "Let's not put any more ads in, I cannot cope with any more work!"
When asked if she had found any barriers as a woman plumber her response was "Yes and no". She explained how one male customer had cancelled his job when he found out she was a woman. With her inimitable good humour she remarked:
"He's an old chap who obviously thinks that plumbers should have a flat cap and a blowlamp!"
On the other hand, she found that she was getting a lot of work from the Muslim community as the husbands preferred to have a lady in the house rather than a man, so there are some benefits to being a lady plumber. She also gets remarks from customers such as "I can't believe you left everything so clean" and from other plumbers saying "I can't believe how tidy your van is!"
"There is just plenty of work! It's fantastic - day by day it's incredibly good, enjoyable, hugely frustrating sometimes, but marvellous! I simply cannot understand why I vacillated about becoming a plumber for so long. I should have done it years ago!"
She has plans for the future too. She wants to take additional courses and qualifications which include Unvented Systems and Corgi Gas Registration. She is very proud to be the first woman to be registered on the Corgi Competent Persons Scheme. Her future is looking bright, and all because she had the courage to change her life.
So don't let anyone tell all you ladies out there that it's a man's world. Lorraine has proved that, with courage and a positive frame of mind, the world is there for anyone who wants to take up the challenge!« View More - Click Here « Close - Click Here
Jonathan Blaize (23)
Jonathan Blaize, 23, from Manor Park, has just finished the first part of his plumbing course with new Career Skills and is set to return to its Southampton base to do the electrical element soon.
Jonathan said that before retraining with New Career Skills he spent a lot of time hanging about in the streets and often got into scrapes with the police.
He added: "I'm from East London and it's not all good around here. People get into bad social circles and get into trouble.
"I got into trouble and got nicked and went to court. I needed to change and New Career Skills helped me to do it in a short amount of time by focussing on something positive."
New Career Skills, which also has a centre in Doncaster, trains people for jobs as plumbers, electricians and professional property marketers. The company retrains people from all walks of life and helps them find employment or set up their own companies at the end of their studies.
Jonathan spent a lot of time after leaving school trying to make money from music, but once his son Trey was on the way he decided he had to find a more reliable income. It was then that he found New Career Skills and embarked on a life-changing journey.
He said: "From 20 to about 22 I was unemployed and I had stopped doing music because it wasn't really paying.
"I had a baby coming and I decided I needed a stable career for his sake. I'm very practical and I thought 'What should I do?' and I knew plumbing was a job in high demand, so I looked into it and decided to go ahead."
He said the New Career Skills course gave him something to give his full attention to and not get distracted.
"It was more intense than college, so it meant I could focus on it and finish it quickly and keep my focus.
"When I got back I made some business cards and I have been handing them out to let people know that I'm a domestic plumber and I'm on call.
"I used to be on street corners doing nothing, now I'm going into shops and handing out my cards and people are impressed. That's because of New Career Skills," said Jonathan.
New Career Skills Chief Executive, Steven Wines, said: "New Career Skills trains people from all walks of life - airline pilots, ex armed forces, teachers - and this is a truly inspirational story."« View More - Click Here « Close - Click Here
Charmaine Warman (36)
The 36-year-old, from Southend-on-Sea, is proving that you can do it all as she looks after her two sons, works as an admin assistant four days a week and trains to be a plumber.
Earlier this year the mother-of-two decided to take her life in a completely different direction by training in a new career.
"I've been in my current job for 15 years and got divorced last year, which was a complete life change so I felt like I needed to do something more. I just fancied a change but never really knew what I wanted to do," she said. "Then in January someone came to do our bathroom at home and I thought, I can do that. I've always liked DIY and it was something I thought I could do."
The admin assistant decided to look into training to become a plumber and came across the website for New Career Skills, which offers training for adults who want to make a change and get into the construction industry. Ms Warman said: "Because I've got children and I work I needed something that would fit in with my spare time. Doing home study with New Career Skills meant I was able to keep working in my current job while training to become a plumber. Doing home study is the best option for me because it means I can fit my studies in around looking after the boys and working. Sometimes I find myself reading up while I'm cooking their dinner and then when they go to bed I'll do a bit more."
Ms Warman started her City and Guilds qualification in June and hopes to finish by next summer and go straight into plumbing. She said: "In my opinion there's a gap in the market for female plumbers because I think a lot of women would feel more comfortable with a female plumber turning up on their doorstep rather than a man. It's something that I've thought of as a mum so I'm hoping I can fill that gap. I think more and more women are getting into the trade too. I've had quite a few mixed reactions and although some older men have said that they don't think I can do it, younger men and women are more positive. My family and friends have been really supportive."
Ms Warman admitted that she relished the opportunity to push herself and achieve something new. She said: "I'm just one of those people who can't stand around and do nothing, I enjoy being busy and I work well under pressure. "My advice to anyone, male or female, who wants to take a new path is just to go for it. Think positive and as long as you have the right frame of mind there's nothing that can stop you."
Managing Director of New Career Skills, Trevor Dormedy, said: "I agree wholeheartedly with Charmaine and applaud her motivation and dedication. In these days of equal opportunities, diversity and choice, there is every reason for a woman to have a fulfilling and interesting career as a plumber. The majority of the people we see here at New Career Skills come to us for a career where they are in control. When you spend so much time at work - you might as well enjoy what you do!"« View More - Click Here « Close - Click Here
- Plumbing Fast-Track
- Skills Shortage
- Plumbing Training
- Our Success
- Plumbing Profession
- Why Choose Us
- Our Plumbing Courses
- Career/Business Help
- Could I Be A Plumber?
- Request Information
View An Online Info Pack
Please fill in the form below to get your free information pack on becoming a plumber. Alternatively please call 0800 037 99 31.