An Apprentice’s View – A Project to be Proud of

By Billy Miller
Plumbing Apprentice with Redmond Group at Clarges Mayfair

09 Mar 2017

Clarges Mayfair is the first project I’ve worked on and I’m proud of being involved. In years to come, I’ll be able to tell my kids that I was part of the team that made that building. It’s an achievement.

Laing O’Rourke offered me a one week trial for a plumbing apprenticeship at Clarges Mayfair last year. When I got the call afterwards to say that Redmond Group wanted to take me on, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to start. In fact, I wanted to come in the next day. 

I started with Redmond Group at Clarges Mayfair in September 2016, doing a one year Level 2 NVQ in Plumbing. It feels good to use my plumbing skills. I spend four days a week on site and one day at the College of North West London doing the theory for my certificates. 

I never thought that I’d be working on a project of this scale. It’s a lot bigger than other jobs I went for, which were mainly for single rooms. At Clarges Mayfair, we do whole apartments and get to see behind the walls because we’re working on the project from the very beginning. 

It’s much more complex than in the classroom. There are so many different types of units and valves – valves that I’d never seen or heard of. But you get all the support you need. I’m always working alongside fully qualified plumbers and fully qualified gas engineers. They help me read the drawings and get me to explain it all back to them to check that I’ve understood everything. 

I grew up ten minutes away from the Clarges development, in Queen’s Park. All the apprenticeships I’d been looking at before were out of central London. It’s great to have one so near home. My family are proud of how much work I put in trying to get an apprenticeship and I finally succeeded.

Next, I’m hoping that Redmond Group might take me on for a Level 3 so I can get a gas qualification with them. In the future, I want to start my own business, working on domestic and commercial projects.

To any other young people interested in an apprenticeship, I’d say go for it. Once you get into your apprenticeship you’re learning, getting a qualification and being paid – most young people want money. If you pick the right apprenticeship, you’re also doing what you enjoy and making the first step of your career.

It’s important to do what you enjoy. If you’re not sure what you want to do, apprenticeships are a good way of trying things out. When you’re still young, you have the chance to try different things to decide what you want to do and then follow that career.

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