During National Apprenticeship Week we were delighted to welcome in our former student Gareth Lang, who is now a Director of GMAC Plumbing and Gas Services along with his business partner Andy McMullen.

Gareth spoke to our plumbing apprentices about his journey from being an apprentice himself, studying for a gas qualification at Southport College in 2005, to starting his own self-employed business and now runs a company employing a team of 45 engineers.

This impressive achievement shows what an apprenticeship can actually do for people. Gareth told our students that having a strong work ethic and the right attitude is just as important as learning the skills and gaining qualifications. This is one of the key benefits of an apprenticeship, he said “it is 100 percent the best way to learn this trade. You are learning on the job; not only the knowledge and qualifications but the attitude you need to have.”
Gareth really believes in the benefits to employers of taking on apprentices. “It allows us to grow the skills we really need, doing work the way we want it to be done. We can mould an apprentice’s skillset, allowing them to qualify with industry standard capabilities, the right interpersonal skills and working exactly to our expectations.”
GMAC is proof that apprenticeships work, as they continue to expand and grow, almost a third of their workforce have now completed or are currently doing an apprenticeship. Gareth recognises that “there is a skills shortage in the industry and would encourage anyone to use this route. It is about being trained properly, which produces highly skilled workers.”

During the visit, we showed Gareth around our brand new gas and plumbing workshops. He was really impressed with the industry standard, high quality equipment. When asked what the best thing we had to offer the students was, he said “Allan Sheldon and the teaching team! The equipment is fantastic but having quality training is just as important.”

We are so grateful to Gareth for coming in to spend his time talking to the next generation of plumbing and gas engineers. Our students found it really useful, seeing how someone who did exactly what they are doing now, has become very successful and also gives back to the community with apprenticeship opportunities.

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