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Discuss Gas Engineer Courses in the Gas Safe Register Forum - Public Forum area at PlumbersForums.net

Opal99

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Hi

I am after some advice please.

I am looking at training to become a gas engineer. I have done some research and have come across various courses which last a few weeks (after which and providing I pass I would be registered on the gas safe register). I am fully aware these courses do not provide the skills and experience of an apprenticeship as I have seen the negative comments regarding them on here; however, an apprenticeship would be extremely difficult for me to secure with so much competition and people with previous experience (I have none). I am 37 and this would be a complete career change for me having only worked in customer service roles: although I am certainly not doing this on a whim. Whilst I will try my best to secure an apprenticeship before going down the course route as my last option, I was wondering if anyone has had any success with these courses (I understand it would be almost impossible getting a job with British Gas etc) but are social housing firms more flexible?
I called one of the fast-track courses mentioned above and spoke to a lovely person who advised me to try and get an apprenticeship as they are highly regarded. He said if I do manage to secure a place then with time, effort and dedication I will go far and there is a market for women gas engineers as there is a current shortfall of them. Unfortunately I do not know any gas engineers (friends or relatives) who can help me on this journey so any genuine and helpful advice would be appreciated.
 
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gmartine

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Combined with your age you have no experience whatsoever so I think your chances of securing an apprenticeship are probably very slim to none. Go to your local FE college and attend a plumbing starter/evening course to see if you have any aptitude for it and then take it from there.
 
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Opal99

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Combined with your age you have no experience whatsoever so I think your chances of securing an apprenticeship are probably very slim to none. Go to your local FE college and attend a plumbing starter/evening course to see if you have any aptitude for it and then take it from there.
I thought this regarding the apprenticeship. Age is not on my side. If I done the fast-track-course and and was then registered as gas safe would there be a chance of employment do you think, for example are social housing firms less selective? One of the courses actually arranges 40+ hours with an experienced engineer to build your portfolio and put in for the test so you don’t need to ask for a mentor.
 

snowhead

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would there be a chance of employment do you think,
Full employment, No, you'd lack experience.

You'd need to work for someone who could mentor you for at least a year and they wouldn't want to pay you much during that time.

No-one is less selective when lives at risk.
 

gmartine

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I suspect you'll have to pay for the privilege of those 40+ hours of portfolio building but do check. What makes you think you'll get through a fast-track course with no experience when even a course administrator "recommended" you try and find an apprenticeship instead?
 

scott_d

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Be careful with social housing and similar
You will be expected to do 8-10 services a day and travel between
 
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Opal99

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I suspect you'll have to pay for the privilege of those 40+ hours of portfolio building but do check. What makes you think you'll get through a fast-track course with no experience when even a course administrator "recommended" you try and find an apprenticeship instead?
The mentor is included in the total cost. Basically I asked the course administrator about apprenticeships vs courses, so he was just answering my question and confirming what I already thought (apprenticeships are better). He never discouraged me from doing the course. I called a couple of places up and on the course which gives a mentor the chap said the last woman they trained went straight on to get a job (for social housing). Obviously he could have been making this up but both chaps I spoke to seemed optimistic (unless they just didn’t want to burst my bubble)
 
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Opal99

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Full employment, No, you'd lack experience.

You'd need to work for someone who could mentor you for at least a year and they wouldn't want to pay you much during that time.

No-one is less selective when lives at risk.
I completely understand this as safety is paramount. I would be happy to work with someone on my two / three days off a week with no pay to build my portfolio but I don't even think this would be easy to secure.
 

gmartine

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Have you even considered the cost implications of doing an apprenticeship should you get one? You wont be on £25k a year + benefits.
 
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Opal99

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Have you even considered the cost implications of doing an apprenticeship should you get one? You wont be on £25k a year + benefits.
Yes I think as an apprentice at my age I would be on approx 13000 per annum which would be a drop but the way I look at it is it is a career and that’s what I want. I know it would be a few years down the line before I earned higher pay. The pay is not the issue it’s getting an apprentice as I am aware there are younger more skilled folk out there than me.
 
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gmartine

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More like minimum wage at £12.5k pa however you seem convinced there is a demand for female gas engineers. Respectfully I don't know if there is or why there would be if there is a glut of heating engineers in the sector anyway. I'd make sure of that before committing any dosh to a course provider who will always tell you what you want to hear.
 
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Opal99

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More like minimum wage at £12.5k pa however you seem convinced there is a demand for female gas engineers. Respectfully I don't know if there is or why there would be if there is a glut of heating engineers in the sector anyway. I'd make sure of that before committing any dosh to a course provider who will always tell you what you want to hear.
I’ll be honest I have no idea if there is a shortage of female engineers, I’m only repeating what the first chap told me. He just seemed a genuinely lovely guy of the old school variety. He never tried to sell me the course either so he was definately not after my dosh. What both chaps did mention was that a woman engineer would appeal to older customers and also women who feel vulnerable. I could quite see this myself. I will definately do further research before committing to anything though as I don’t have money to throw away.
 

Riley

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Don’t believe it they will tell you anything to sign you up. You will not get employment after a fast track course. Most employers these days require a minimum 2-5years experience. Your option will be self employed and unless you have a little black book of engineers to call when you get stuck then you are going to look silly in front of customers. The thing of elderly and women wanting women is rubbish I’m not being sexist but a lot of the elderly and even many women are as they don’t think it’s a job for a woman. Do as someone said above do the college route. You will actually learn
 
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There maybe an alternative why don’t you train be become a smart meter installer with a big company they will train you and guide you accordingly.

I was faced with redundancy a few months ago I applied for several jobs got a few interviews one social housing group said they didn’t think I was experienced enough for the gas engineers post (I was a gas engineer at the last place for 5 years). It’s very difficult for a newbie to find a job in our industry.
 
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Opal99

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Don’t believe it they will tell you anything to sign you up. You will not get employment after a fast track course. Most employers these days require a minimum 2-5years experience. Your option will be self employed and unless you have a little black book of engineers to call when you get stuck then you are going to look silly in front of customers. The thing of elderly and women wanting women is rubbish I’m not being sexist but a lot of the elderly and even many women are as they don’t think it’s a job for a woman. Do as someone said above do the college route. You will actually learn
Thanks for your honest answer. I have been looking at the college routes but they also want you to be employed in the industry and have one or two days a week in the classroom. That’s the difficult part...finding someone who will let you shadow them. Maybe this will be a pipe dream at my age but they do say you are never too old to learn
 

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