Train4TradeSkills Students give you advice on how to get jobs and work placements – Part 6

Are you training to be a plumber or electrician with Train4TradeSkills and want to get some practical experience outside of your course?

Train4TradeSkills Radio has spoken to a number of students who are working in the industry alongside their training and gaining valuable experience.

These students offer their advice and tips of how they managed to get work placements and jobs, so you can follow in their footsteps.


Dave Hawke

“I’ve been running my own property maintenance business for the last 5 or 6 years. I’ve just got a contract now to fit a bathroom, kitchen and a toilet as it goes. But I just turn my hand to just about anything and everything.”

Tell us a bit about your business then – how do you get your customers?

“I rely totally on word of mouth, I don’t advertise. I literally go by word of mouth because I find that’s the best way. If you’re recommended, then people will know you’re pretty good.

I’m a member of a church and I’ve built it through the church. I’ve found by doing work for people there, they all know people and I’ve networked from that and spread to other churches.

If you’re setting up your own business you need to be determined, you’ve got to have pretty thick skin and you’ve got to be prepared for knockbacks, putting in long hours and doing quotes and not hearing back. It’s not easy, you don’t just say I’m going to start a business and then off you go, It can be a long hard road but the rewards are great so it’s quite a rewarding career to get into.”


Mark Holloway

“I’m doing some plumbing, working for someone. I’ve been doing it for about 3, 4 months. I’ve been doing all sorts of work. The person I work for is not just a plumber, he’s an electrician, he does plastering, all building work – so a bit of everything.

It’s actually my girlfriend’s dad that I work for – It’s paid work as well. The work definitely helps with the practical side as it gives you a lot more experience and makes you quicker at doing everything.”


Mark Gilder

“I am working for a plumbing and heating engineer, who has been running a business for 26 years now, so well established. I signed up to study and what I did is to get myself on various building sites just doing labouring work to make contacts and it paid off for me. I got a contact and it resulted in a job.

I’m doing everything from repairing taps and radiators through to new boiler and central heating installations. Some of it he trusts me now to go ahead and do on my own, and the more technical elements of it, the gas and the boilers, he obviously does that side of the work.

I’ve been with my employer for just over a year and through various discussions he’s looking to retire in 4-5 years time and he’s looking for me to take the business forward. So I’ve rather landed on my feet really. I’ll stay with my employer and eventually take over his business. I’ll effectively be self-employed but running an established business.”


Sean Whitmore

“I’m a general builder, so I’m in the building industry and I just want to further my career. I’ve run my own business for the last 10-15 years and mainly do extensions. I cover most parts of the building industry – plastering, bricklaying, concreting, tiling – so I cover quite a big range.

I’ve grown my business basically from a base of people who I’ve worked for before. You do a good job at the right price, you’re name gets around and you try and keep up a high standard – word of mouth normally is the best way.”


Chris Summerfield

“I’ve got a paid job with a plumbing company, who teach me a bit of everything. They are starting to get me to work on boilers, do a lot of bathrooms. I go to commercial properties and sort out their plumbing problems ie. Their toilet not flushing properly and basic jobs like that. And then you could be on-site for a week and do different bits of plumbing.”

Tell us how you went about getting that job then?

“I just spotted one of the vans driving around and I just rang on the off-chance and they said they would keep my name and number. They called back about a month later and said are you still looking for some plumbing work – so I’m on an initial three-month trial.”

You can listen all the full interviews from Sean, Chris, Mark H, Dave and Mark G at  – where you can download to iTunes and your smartphones (iPhone and Android) if you have one.



About Train4tradeSkills

Train4TradeSkills offer the only trade training skills courses that combine three great ways to learn, through a unique blend of book based theory, practical workshops and virtual reality PC based training, to help you qualify you as a plumber, electrician or gas engineer. No other learning provider offers our unique way to study, with full tutor support, easy to follow, step by step modules. Once you complete one part of the course and return your work for marking, the next stage of the course automatically follows. It’s as easy as that. It’s fun, it’s easy to follow... and it can be fitted around your existing work and family commitments!

Posted on October 31, 2011, in construction jobs, construction news, Electrical News, electrician, electrician courses, electrician jobs, plumbing, plumbing courses, plumbing jobs, Plumbing News, train4tradeskills, Train4TradeSkills Bright Sparks, Train4TradeSkills Radio and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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