Category Archives: Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month
You can listen to the full interview with Kristina via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills
Stephen Raw has won the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Award for June. To enter July’s Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month competition, submit your entry via Student World at www.tma.t4ts.com for your chance to win £200 in vouchers.
Here’s the full list of winners:
Sarah Pickering has won the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Award for May. To enter June’s Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month competition, submit your entry via Student World at www.tma.t4ts.com for your chance to win £200 in vouchers.
- Train4TradeSkills students give you advice on how to get work placements (train4tradeskills.wordpress.com)
The World Plumbing Council selected the 11th March as World Plumbing Day last year, with the aim to promote the role plumbers play in helping communities worldwide.
Robert Burgon, the Chairman of the World Plumbing Council, said in a statement that, “plumbing is directly connected with health of a country and ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation.”
Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Matt shares his Plumbing stories with us…
Train4TradeSkills students are doing their bit for plumbing and here is Matt Norman’s story about when he had to fix an emergency leak. Matt won the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Award for February and here is Matt’s winning story:
I am on the plumbing course, and in full-time employment for a plumbing company. Last Friday night I received a phone call from the boss of an emergency job and to take another lad and drive from London to Brighton mid rush-hour. There were reports of a leak coming through the ceiling from the loft. I loaded up with a range of tools and fittings expecting anything. After getting to the job and accessing the loft (which contained a large CWSC feeding 4 flats, a large HWSC for the heating as well as a LEAD mains riser, split into 4 separate mains feeds to each flat) meaning pipes everywhere and no floor just joists.
I put a hole in the ceiling where the water was dripping from to allow it to drain and prevent the ceiling from collapsing. Looking in the loft I found the problem – Lead. The kitchen had recently been replaced/ re-plumbed. A lead-loc reducer had been fitted to take it from the 3/4″ down to the 15mm copper, then run along for about 150mm then dropped down in some boxing to feed the kitchen cold tap. The copper had NO fixings and every time the cold tap was turned on then off the pipe would kick and resulted in over a matter of weeks it pulled the lead-loc, stretching the lead and causing a 2mm split in it.
I reported the issue to my boss having never worked with lead before, and he replied “just do it”.
I began tapping the lead over to reduce the water flow, then Googling the nearest Screwfix, putting it in the SatNav and rushing down to get the part before it shut; 1 LEFT IN STOCK!
On return, I got straight into the freezing cold loft, itching due to the fibre-glass insulation and carefully using to boards swapping them round so I’d have something to stand on. After much careful work on the one nearby gate valve which was still on the lead pipework. It eventually closed enough to allow me to work on it, though not completely. I set everything I’d need up in-front, 2 pairs large adjustable ,screw-gun with screws and 15mm plastic pipe clips, 12″ alligator grips, a pair of Stilsons, PTFE threaded tape, correct LEAD-loc which also provided the protection against galvanic corrosion, new gate valve and a 15mm flexible pipe.
The plan was to use cut the lead back to before the split but still leaving plenty of room in front of the old valve. Then fit the lead-loc, connected to the flexi-pipe, then connected to the existing copper. I also will cut the copper a little further on the install the gate valve for future kitchen work. Then clip the pipe to the joist to reduce the kicking movement.
The idea of using the flexi was to give more freedom, and give it some slack to further reduce the kicking movement/ stop it completely from pulling on the lead. I also felt obliged to install the new valve as it was completely impractical to replace any of the lead and taking into account the difficulties I had turning the valve off, one would be needed in future for any more kitchen work.
I cut the lead, fitted the lead-loc (PTFE every threaded joint) connected the flexi, then back to the copper. I then cut the copper and fitted the valve. Then clipped the pipe to the joist. I then had to PTFE the packing gland on the old valve. I turned the water back on and checked the joints, LEAK FREE. On testing the kitchen tap I noticed a massive decrease in pressure. I suspected an airlock in the pipe. I shut the new valve off and opened the kitchen tap, then turned the new valve back on and the pressure went back to normal. Then double checked each joint and sure-enough no leaks. I packed up and left for a long journey home in harsh motorway weather conditions.
If you want to read other stories from Train4TradeSkills Plumbing students, listen to T4TS Radio and the likes of Andy, Anis, Charlotte and Mohammed talking about their courses with Train4TradeSkills.
The Train4TradeSkills Student for the Month Awards for February have been announced, where the most deserving students wins £200 in vouchers. The second and third place students win £100 and £50 respectively.
The top three students for February were:
Matthew Norman, from Surrey
Matt wins the top prize this month, and works for a plumbing company while studying with Train4TradeSkills.
I am on the plumbing course, and in full-time employment for a plumbing company. Last Friday night I received a phone call from the boss of an emergency job and to take another lad and drive from London to Brighton mid rush-hour.
There were reports of a leak coming through the ceiling from the loft. I loaded up with a range of tools and fittings expecting anything.
The full story from Matt will be available on the Train4TradeSkills Blog tomorrow, so you can read it on here then.
Paul McGarraghy, from Bury
Paul wins second place and talks about how he has been using the skills acquired from his Train4TradeSkills Plumbing course when working on his new home.
Since buying my first home late last year, I’ve now completely revamped the water system. I installed a completely new central heating system, replacing the old gas heaters, with a gas safe plumber doing the work I’m not qualified to do.
I have also installed a brand new bathroom, including new pipe-work, tiling and suite. I also renovated a small room downstairs, and have installed a new toilet and basin. The kitchen isn’t yet done, but the first fix has been carried out.
I originally started the course with the intention of working for someone else, or for a bathroom fitting company. But since doing work for friends and family, putting what I learned into practice, word is spreading and I’m starting to get work from people I didn’t know before. I am still doing my day job, but my focus is changing slightly and, being able to start up my own business is looking more realistic. I feel more confident with my plumbing work with each job I do, and always get a sense of satisfaction when I complete a task, no matter how big or small. This is made even better when I see the smile on my customers faces.
Ian Nicholson, from Leeds
I run a busy workshop servicing and repairing 83 HGV and Refuse vehicles and for the past few months the workshop has been running at 75% strength, this has meant that as foreman I have been working 12 -14 hour shifts to complete the work. In addition to this, with the help of my son who’s just qualified as a plumber, I have fitted a new bathroom suite (which was completed in 1 day) and am in the process of tiling it. But in spite of this I’ve still maintained my studying (even doing so in my lunch break) and am getting marks in the 90% range.
If you would like to enter the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month competition for March go to Student World at http://tma.t4ts.com/ and submit your story of what you have been up to recently.
The Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Awards for January have been announced, where the most deserving Train4TradeSkills student will win £200 in DIY vouchers. The second and third placed students will receive £100 and £50 in vouchers respectively. The top three students for January and to kick off 2011 are, starting with third place:
Ben Beadle, from York
Ben finishes in 3rd place for January, winning £50 in vouchers. This is what Ben’s been up to:
Been an apprentice plumber for 3 months now I have learnt so much that it was time to diagnose a problem with a faulty boiler on my own (obviously under supervision).
The customer had been complaining that the pressure on her Worchester junior 28i boiler was very high and that it kept turning off and tripping the fuse box.
So I began by stripping the boiler down for further investigation. I checked the blow off and found that it was damp which meant the boiler was blowing off the pressure due to how high it was in the boiler. I couldn’t put my finger on why the pressure gauge was still showing at 3 bar even though the boiler had been blowing it off.
I couldn’t see any leaks to why the pressure had been dropping so decided to check the pressure vessel which on inspection had 0 psi in it. Problem found, so I went to get the air pump to repressure the vessel back to 14 psi, problem fixed!
The customer was very pleased that her boiler was now working and I told her any problems give me a call!! I also showed her how to depressurise the boiler correctly and to only do it when the system is cold!
Lee Snutch, from Cheshire
Lee finishes in second place for January and has been working on his soldering this month. The plumbing student says:
I feel that my achievement for this month is that I have been out and bought a blow lamp, flux, solder wire, 15mm copper piping & connections and practised soldering them together. First I cut the pipes down then used a mix of connections. Then using the outside tap ran water through to see if there were any leaks. The first attempt there were 2 leaks, the second time there were none.
I am very proud to say that it only took 2 attempts.
Ryan Reece, from Peterborough
Ryan scoops first place and is the first Train4TradeSkills student of the month for 2011, winning £200 in vouchers. Ryan wins because of his hard work and dedication towards his studying. Ryan says:
I started a new occupation at McDonalds and I have been working on average 45-50 hours a week. In the past month I have completed both modules 3 and 4. I have submitted module 3 for marking and I am awaiting the results so I am able to send off module 4.
Despite the hours I work I am still more determined than ever to achieve high standards in my plumbing course. I have been studying very hard.
On some occasions I have come home after doing a 12 hour shift (12-12) and sit down for a couple of hours to better my understanding of part of a module. I am constantly revising and keeping all vital information in my head. I will continue to give 110% in all areas of the course.
If you would like to enter the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month competition for February go to Student World at http://tma.t4ts.com/ and submit your story of what you have been up to recently.
Stephen Marlor is studying to be a plumber with Train4TradeSkills, having signed up in November 2008 for the Complete Plumbing Professional Course. Stephen lives in Rhyl, Wales and has been working with a self-employed plumber so he can get some more practical experience alongside his course.
Stephen also came in third place in November’s Student of the Month competition. Here are some of the best bits from his blog:
Stephen on… work experience
“The experience I am getting is so valuable and I am getting to do hands on work so when I get to do my next set of practical training I will be just that little bit more confident.
I just want to remind all of you that are doing a course like this not to give up looking for work experience. My determination certainly paid off and it was one of the biggest challenges I have faced so far.”
Stephen on… the tutors
“I was nervous to begin with, as anyone would be and I phoned Richard, my Train4Tradeskills tutor, for some advice and he told me what to do and he was really helpful. I phoned him up to let him know how I got on and he said I’m making really good progress. Richard has been really helpful.
The biggest challenge for me has been to find work experience and I’ve finally reached that goal and I feel that I am doing really well.”
Stephen on… the future
“Once I complete the course, I am planning to set up my own business as a self employed plumber in the Rhyl area and everyday I am one step closer to making this a reality.”
Stephen on… studying with Train4TradeSkills
“I would tell everyone studying from home to be persistent with their studies and read the materials more than once. I find the materials very hard to study because I find it hard to concentrate, but I focus and then take a break from studying for a few days. I take everything in and I think I’m doing well – but it does take time and a lot of effort. Be patient and you will succeed.
Studying at home is the best decision I have made because it helps you in the long run to get a new qualification, whilst being able to work as well. You don’t have to devote 8 hours a day to study and you can do it at your own pace which is easier for me. I would recommend it to anyone.”
To read Stephen’s Blog, go to http://stephenwithtrain4tradeskills.blogspot.com/
The Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month Awards for December have been announced, where the most deserving Train4TradeSkills student will win £200 in DIY vouchers. The second and third placed students will receive £100 and £50 in vouchers respectively. The top three students for the month of December are, starting with third place:
Howard Griffin, from Lincolnshire
Howard comes in third place for December after excelling with his assignments in the last month. He has passed all of his recent TMA’s and all the snow and bad weather have gave Howard the extra motivation to study, which has paid off for him.
Howard also has special thanks for one of the Train4TradeSkills tutors, saying:
“I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Lee the tutor at the practical sessions in Worcester. What a pleasure being taught by a true professional. Brilliant! And all you other students who are a bit worried about your first practical session don’t worry – it’s great.”
Ben Moore, from West Midlands
Ben has been trying to get an apprenticeship with a plumbing firm to go alongside his studies with T4TS and after a year of trying, has finally been successful. Ben describes exactly how he did it:
“I said to myself the first van I see who is a plumber or heating engineer “I’m going to either stop them or walk over to them and ask”. So I’ve done exactly that. The first van I saw was on a drive and the guy was still in the driver’s seat. I walked over to him, explained about my course and asked him if he was interested in taking on an apprentice or a trainee. As it happens he was thinking about it.
The next day I went out with him on a job to see what it was like and for us to have a talk. Good news – my apprenticeship starts in the New Year. I look forward to progressing through my course work and finally getting my qualifications. Therefore my message is “don’t be afraid to ask – they don’t bite.”
David McPhail, from Gateshead
David rounds out 2010 as the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month for December, winning himself £200 in vouchers. David was made redundant last year from his job and signed up to train as an electrician with Train4TradeSkills.
David has recently past TMA 8 and has started getting some electrical experience with a work placement in the industry. David says:
“Since starting the course I have been helping out with my friend and his colleagues on some extensions doing the first fix and would advise anyone doing this course to do the same as hands on knowledge is invaluable when done along with the course material to back up the theory. It now looks as though I’ll be taken on through one of my friends contacts for a while which gives me a good solid ground to build on.
For the first time in a while I’m upbeat about the future and I’m looking forward to receiving the next part of the course and the upcoming practicals.”
If you would like to enter the Train4TradeSkills Student of the Month competition for January go to Student World at http://tma.t4ts.com/ and submit your story of what you have been up to recently.