I love the hands-on practical work, this job is great

Working in the trades offers great potential for young people who enjoy practical work, with a great team, in a job that really helps people.

 Age 19, Mia Gibson is a first year Apprentice Plumber here at KWL.

 At school PE was her favourite subject and she always liked to be busy doing something practical rather than sitting in a classroom. When it came to deciding what to choose next, Mia looked to her family for advice about jobs and her step-dad suggested work as a plumber, as the salaries are good and the work is practical and varied.

 That was it, decision made and when Mia left St Mary’s College in Hull, she went straight on to Hull College to a Level 2 Plumbing course and really enjoyed it. Even though half of her second year was affected by lockdown and learning was from home, the class managed to get back into the workshop for the practicals.

 Mia says: “My step dad gave me the idea of being a plumber and so I looked for an apprenticeship and found the level 2 course at Hull College. I was the only girl on the course and it was a little bit awkward at the beginning, but I just got my head down and got on with the work. It wasn’t long before I was getting on really well with the others though.”

 As the end of her course approached, Mia searched for apprenticeships and contacted KWL to find out about any opportunities. She explains:

 “It was perfect timing as when I got in touch, the Training Team said it was literally the last day before entries for the Apprenticeship Scheme closed. I felt really lucky that I’d made the call and after the interview and aptitude tests, I knew it was what I really wanted to do.

 “The first year of a Plumbing Apprenticeship is all about getting to know with the basics. I’ve moved around the departments, starting off in general plumbing, then gas installs and gas repairs. I love working on the installations as it’s a really busy job with lots of variety.

 “I am really enjoying working at KWL. The work is interesting as it involves lots of problem solving and I’m in a hands-on role which is what I’ve always wanted to do. When we’re doing gas repairs, we have to diagnose the problems, look around the boiler to see where the faults are. The engineers usually give me a chance to look first to see if I can work it out for myself and this helps me to make good progress.

 “Plumbing is a very physical job and can be really hard work as lots of the equipment we work with is heavy. But I always manage and plus we all work together.

 “I would definitely like to encourage other females into the trades, especially for those who don’t want to work in an office or sitting down all day. There is a lot to learn and working with gas safety comes first, but Health and Safety is a very high priority at KWL and all of the engineers are highly trained and skilled at their jobs.

 “For other females wondering what to do next, it’s important to know that when looking for jobs in construction, no-one at KWL is going to judge you, in fact they will welcome you with open arms. It’s great that there is a big push on women in construction and I’m happy to be part of that.

 “Outside of work I just like to chill. I listen to all kinds of rap music and watch TV. Right now I’m watching Geordie Shore – Chloe and Sophie are my favourite characters they are so funny!”

 Gavin Elliott, has worked at KWL for nearly 13 years. He is a Gas Engineer, dealing with emergencies, boiler repairs and servicing. He says:

 “Mia has been working with me for a couple months. She’s a really hard worker and always comes to work with plenty of enthusiasm every day.”