Apprenticeship Success- Meet Phill Darwin

Adult apprentice Phill Darwin is currently completing his Level 2 Plumbing apprenticeship with Warrington-based company Northwest Heating Services Ltd. Phill began his apprenticeship in September 2019 and is enjoying the wide variety of work his job role involves. Check out the following interview to find out more about Phill’s experience as an apprentice so far!

Why did you choose to complete an apprenticeship with Warrington & Vale Royal College?

I chose to study at Warrington & Vale Royal College due to its high academic reputation, as well as because I was impressed with the campus when visiting for an open evening. I was initially in two minds due to the prospect of me being an older student, but after speaking to the staff during the open evening I decided it was the right college for me.

What do you feel is the best aspect of studying at Warrington & Vale Royal College?

For me, it has to be the staff. I have had no issues over the course of my first year and whenever I’ve needed any help, they have answered any questions or are accessible through emails even on days when I’m not in college.

How has your college tutor guided you through the course?

My tutor Gary has been brilliant, he instantly made me feel at ease when I first started the course in September. He is very approachable, and always has time for any questions or issues I’ve had, and is more than happy to go through any work if it helps you to understand it better.

Can you tell us more about your apprenticeship and the organisation you are working for?

I am working for a local organisation called Northwest Heating Services Ltd, they cover all aspects of plumbing, heating and gas work in domestic and commercial properties. I’ve been working with them for just over a year, and really enjoy it, we have a great team of lads. With the work covering domestic and commercial properties, I am learning each day, and enjoy the varied jobs we work on. The engineers are very experienced and are really helping with developing my skills and knowledge.

What are your career plans after completing your apprenticeship?

My career goal is to be a successful plumbing and heating engineer.

Do you feel your apprenticeship is helping you prepare for the next steps of your career?

Yes definitely. I feel I am getting a good balance between the theory and practical work at college with the day by day working in the industry I ultimately want to have a successful career in.

What advice would you give to students considering an apprenticeship with Warrington & Vale Royal College?

My advice to any future students thinking of doing an apprenticeship is to just go for it! The staff are great, the campus has good facilities, and there are so many different courses available to you.

How have things changed for you during the pandemic?

I’ve found working during the pandemic to be very different.  We have had to wear extra PPE and get used to adhering to Health and Safety protocols for COVID.  I have tried to keep my approach to working positive and learn as much as I can.

Phill is making excellent progress throughout his apprenticeship and is well on track to becoming a successful plumbing and heating engineer. James Brookfield, Director of Northwest Heating Services, speaks very highly of Phill and enjoys seeing him put his skills into practice. James says, “Phillip has been a fantastic addition to the team and is a great asset.  He is keen to learn and punctual, both required to get on as an apprentice.  It’s great to watch him put his skills and knowledge to use.  As a business it’s great to mould your apprentice to your way of working, ensuring quality and professionalism.”

The college are delighted about how well Phill is doing and wish him all the best for the remainder of his apprenticeship. Click here to find out more about becoming a plumbing apprentice and take the first step towards this fascinating and lucrative industry.