An Apprentice Plumber Can Enrich Your Business
To have an apprentice plumber or not to have one… that is the question
Why have an apprentice?
Despite what some might think, and taking into account the stereotypical thought processes surrounding apprentice plumbers, they are not there to just make tea and do your filing, or “to just watch you”.
Nope. Apprentices are there to add value and can really enrich your business.
Apprentice plumber addds value…
Leadership – they can help you define, hone and deliver great leadership. If you’ve never had an apprentice plumber before it can be daunting. However, no-one expects you to be perfect. They are there to learn, they want to learn and since you are great at what you do, they will learn.
Presentation/communication – learning from you, they will learn how to present themselves to clients, how to discuss a project, how to price a project, how to interact with other professionals and peers. You will give them the tools to become independent and confident in their delivery.
Mentoring – isn’t about saying ‘do as I do’, but about explaining the ins and outs, talking about your journey, helping them to understand how to make the best of every situation, no matter what happens and encouraging them even when things don’t go right.
Skills – hands-on practical skills that can be refined over time. Just like driving a car, the first few attempts are most likely to be a myriad of successes and failures in equal measure. What’s important is that they are learning every day, appreciating that no two days are the same. Understanding what constitutes an emergency and how to deal with it in a cool calm manner and get the job done, just like you.
Add value – having an apprentice plumber not only allows them to learn new skills and experiences, you can too. If you aren’t already a fantastic communicator then you’ll become one. If you’ve never taught hands-on before then you’ll learn the best way to do so. Delegation not your strong point – now is a good time to learn. The point is, you’ll grow and learn as much as they will.
Productivity – according to Checkatrade, having an apprentice can boost productivity by 68% – what’s not to like about that.
Business enhancement – by having an apprentice, you can take on more work; expand your team. It also means that you can undertake some of the “standard work” such as maintenance of boilers quicker than you would have done on your own and the more your apprentice learns, the quicker and easier it will be to turn around all your projects.
Companion – whilst we are not suggesting every apprentice will become your best buddy, they will become an integral part of your team. Allowing you to have someone to chat to about jobs, ask opinions of, ask how they would undertake a job, etc.
Sounding Board – they can be a great sounding board, they can offer solutions to project queries. You may find that their suggestion is something new and innovative that really makes a difference. Even if they don’t manage that, it’s a great way of bonding, as you can then explain why you wouldn’t do it that way or why you would, enhancing their learning and showing off your skills and experience.
Support – you can get your apprentice plumber involved in all aspects of the business, not just the hands-on practical side. You can ask them to write a one-off blog (if they feel comfortable) about their experience with you, which you can then use in your social media to help boost your visibility. They can learn how to actually run a business from marketing to finances and even help sort and process invoices. An extra pair of hands can certainly make light work, but only if you are working side by side.
Ready-made assistant – once your apprentice has finished all their training, they are in a great position to just get stuck in and become a permanent member of your team, should you wish them to. Since they know how you work, how you like things done and you know their work and work ethics, it saves you the time and effort of looking for someone else to join the team.
Corporate Social Responsibility – whilst this may not be high on your list, it is an important factor to consider. Along with showing that you are a progressive modern firm, by taking on an apprentice, you are showing your business in a positive light which is good for both attracting and retaining both clients and staff, now and in the future.
Financials – not only can having an apprentice help you turn around jobs quicker, which means more money in the pot, there are financial incentives from the Government too. It does depend on how old your apprentice is and there are different rules relating to the Government Recovery Plans under Covid 19, however, having a cash incentive can certainly help. Of course, you pay the wages of the apprentice, but a small return from the Government is always welcome.
So, now you’ve read about all the great things an apprentice can do for your firm, we hope that you’ll be ready and willing to invest in one, just like we have.
My apprentice plumber, Jason, has been with me for 10 months, we have had many ups and a few downs with the lockdown period, and having to go onto the furlough scheme, but generally he has become an asset to the business.
Jason returned to work at the end of July from furlough and this has enabled me to ensure I can fulfill work commitments, for larger jobs, that I had booked in.
He is friendly, willing to learn, always arrives to work with the right attitude and can build rapport with my clients while we are working at their homes and businesses – this is the most important quality for me as our reputation is paramount.
Jason understands that working in homes and businesses is very different to a building site environment – keeping the job clean, tidy and productive ensures a well spent day.
Overall, as he progresses, I am very confident that he will be able to work unsupervised and the end result will be a tidy and professional finish. He takes in the information given and only has to be told once about any completed tasks that need adjusting.
A great person with the right attitude to grow my business!
If you’d like a chat about the joys of bringing onboard a plumbing apprentice, then drop us a line (can we link to the contact us page from the website) or give us a call on: 07917 776549.