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Warning to would-be plumbers in Apprenticeship Week

National online service WaterSafe, are keen to stress that people hoping to become plumbers shouldn’t waste their money with rogue trainers offering fast-track courses which aren’t recognised by the industry.



Would-be plumbers are being urged to kick start their career with high-quality training courses and to steer clear of ‘rogue trainers’.

With National Apprenticeship Week 2018 underway, the national plumbing register WaterSafe is advising anyone considering a career in plumbing to choose industry-approved qualifications – to ensure they get the right training and keep customers’ drinking water safe.

WaterSafe is a national, free online service which lists plumbers who are trained in the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws and is backed by all UK water companies.

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With the national focus on Apprenticeship Week, the organisation is keen to stress that people hoping to become plumbers should not waste their money with rogue trainers offering fast-track courses which are not recognised by the industry.

WaterSafe says it takes years to become a properly qualified plumber with both practical on-site experience and classroom theory. Trainees should be aiming to achieve National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 2 as a minimum.

People simply looking for a quick career fix will miss out on key skills and may unwittingly put their customers at risk if they cannot guarantee a safe water supply.

Chris Sneath, Chairman of WaterSafe, said:

“Becoming a plumber and a craftsman is a fantastic career choice and doing the job well requires those in our trade to be highly skilled.

“It does take some years to learn both the practical and technical skills and I would urge prospective trainees to take proper advice before they choose a course.

“Fundamentally, if you receive the right training you will provide your customers with a good, safe and reliable service and have a rewarding career in the industry. If you have satisfied customers they will provide you with on-going work throughout your career.”

Poor training can be doubly costly – it can mean breaching consumer legislation and potential investigations by trading standards, and also pose a risk to the safety of customers.

Trainee plumbers are advised to look at the list of approved qualifications to qualify as a WaterSafe-approved plumber online at, where advice on becoming a plumber is also available from the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers (CIPHE).

National Apprenticeship week celebrates the success of apprenticeships for individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy, while encouraging others to choose the training programmes as a pathway to a great career.

National Apprenticeship Week 2018 runs from March 5 to 9.

To find out more about becoming a plumber visit or call 0333 207 9030.

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Crawley school celebrates science win with Ardingly College and their solar car



Ifield Community College and Ardingly College have won the Times Educational Supplement Science, Technology and Engineering Team of the Year.  

Lead judge Jo Foster said that the project was “absolutely exemplary”. She added:

“From success in international racing events to effective outreach to other schools both at home and abroad, this project goes the extra mile.

Ardingly Ifield Solar has been running for nearly a decade educating hundreds of students in sustainable mobility technologies by designing, building, and racing solar powered cars.

It is a true collaboration between Ifield Community & Ardingly Colleges. In addition, the project works closely with 33 companies and three universities bringing the latest technologies right into the classroom.  

The team’s accolades include driving the solar powered car they made 3000km across Australia, outperforming  Cambridge and Stanford universities in the Bridgestone World Challenge; and racing in France and Belgium in Solar endurance races and being awarded a special ‘Spirit of Albi’ trophy whilst there.

The team were planning on raising awareness of sustainable transport nationally by travelling the length of the UK, but this has been postponed until August 2021 due to current Covid-19 restrictions. This has not stopped the team, who continue to meet twice a week virtually, and are planning their next project: a flat pack solar powered vehicle(a replacement Tuk Tuk).

Miss Sumpter, teacher at Ifield Community College says:

‘I am so happy the team has been recognised for their enthusiasm and dedication to STEM. It is a pleasure to be part of this project, and I am immensely proud of everyone involved. I hope the impact of this project will continue to influence STEM careers.’

For more information on their project, please visit their website:

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