Ian is doing an Apprenticeship in Plumbing at City College Plymouth which he started after completing his GCSE’s. He has already passed the NVQ level 2, and is now working towards NVQ level 3, in total his apprenticeship will take 4 years to complete.

Ian chose to do an apprenticeship rather than A-levels because he wanted to earn money and gain qualifications at the same time, thereby qualifying debt-free. He spends one day a week in college learning theory and has multiple choice exams to test his knowledge. The rest of the week is spent at work, where Ian is monitored by work based assessors. Onsite, Ian develops his practical skills as well as learning from his colleagues. Ian is proud to work for a renewable energy company which he considers to be the future direction that plumbing will need to take in order to combat climate change.

This clip shows Ian installing a solar powered water heating system.

With thanks to: City College Plymouth

Curriculum topics covered:

  • Energy from the sun
  • The greenhouse effect
  • Absorption of radiation
  • Renewable, sustainable energy

Also in this film:

  • Combining on-the-job training with theory lessons at college
  • Assessment during an apprenticeship

Suggested practicals:

The greenhouse effect
Try out a model system that shows the greenhouse effect at work. This illustrates the principle of solar water heaters (as installed on roofs).

Transmitting and absorbing radiant energy
Investigate the absorption of radiation from a radiant heater.

Microbes all around us
Plumbers need to be conscious of the need to keep water clean and wholesome. Investigate the presence of bacteria in water samples.

Identifying the conditions needed for photosynthesis
Plants also make use of the energy of sunlight, in the process of photosynthesis.