Thirty one year-old Matt Hill has recently completed our Managed Learning Programme (MLP) and has walked straight into a job as a Gas Engineer with British Gas. He can’t believe it!
Matt is Over the Moon!
“When I left school I was interested in training as a gas engineer, but at the time I was tempted by the money I could earn working as a scaffolder and chose that. For the last seven years I’ve been working on big jobs all around the country for an industrial scaffolding company and it’s been great, but the work’s physically hard and often involves nights away. Now I have a partner and a young child, I want to be at home.
“I also want to build a proper career, perhaps even run my own business and so, with this in mind, I began to explore the idea of training as a gas engineer by researching online. Viva’s website and Richard’s experience appealed to me.
Taking the Leap
“I could see the potential, but there was always this black cloud hanging over me. The idea of turning my back on a good salary whilst I was training was a real worry – and then, what if I couldn’t find work?
“As soon as I began the training course at Viva, my fears began to fade. Richard and his team are serious about what they’re doing. They really want to help kick-start your gas career. They mean business and nothing is too much trouble.
“Whatever your background, the team at VIVA offers incredible support. This begins in the classroom with tutors who are all very experienced in the trade. Then they work really hard to fix you up with decent companies for the portfolio part of the course. Working alongside an experienced engineer helps you put what you’ve learnt in the classroom into practice. To be honest, it’s where you really learn your stuff.
Valuable work experience
I was set up with two placements. The first one was for BASI Heating in Bradford. They’re great there. They understand that you’re a trainee and give you lots of support, but they let you get on with it, you’re not just watching! At BASI I got lots of experience working with boilers and then, during my second placement at Know How – I got to work on lots of cooker installations and repairs. Both placements went really well and both companies told me to get back in touch when I’d finished the course – they were offering me work and I hadn’t even qualified yet!
The MLP is pretty intense, but you definitely get back whatever you put in. After your days in the classroom, where you’re clearly told that no question is too daft, the portfolio bit can be a bit overwhelming, but the tutors are always on hand if you get stuck.
When you’re working on your portfolio, you need to write up each job and upload pictures to prove that you’ve been working on the appliances and VIVA offer fantastic support in this. There’s a woman called Gia who’s always on the end of the phone to help you make sense of what you’re writing and on day one they set your cohort up with a WhatsApp group so that you can help each other out – when you’re training and beyond. There’s also a buddy scheme, where they match you up with a candidate who has already qualified, so you never feel alone.
Then a Real Job Offer!
“Towards the end of the training programme, VIVA set up a day where British Gas came and met us all – and we could talk face to face. As a result of this, I was offered a job as a British Gas Engineer. I start in January. I can’t believe it! It’s so exciting, I couldn’t ask for anything better, to be honest. It’s all credit to Richard and his team, for getting me there.
I realise I was lucky, I was in well paid work before I started my training and able to save up in the months leaning up to the course to give us a bit of a cushion. I also have a partner who has been very supportive throughout. She’s taken on extra shifts and overtime so that we’ve been able to pay the bills, but now, just a few months on, I’m able to offer her and my daughter real security for life.
“Being offered a job with a household name like British Gas is just fantastic. I thought I wanted to set up my own business, but now I’ve looked into it, I see that working for a big company opens up a whole load of different pathways. Maybe I’ll go in to management, who knows? Sure, it was a big leap, but I’m so glad I took it. I’m over the moon.”
If Matt’s story inspires you to take the plunge, please get in touch and Richard and his team will talk through the new entrants gas training options available.
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