Completing an apprenticeship in a year the world will never forget

Apprenticeship individual

With National Apprenticeship Week happening this week, we are celebrating one of our own success stories and the positive impact that the scheme has had on his life.

At 36, Darren Barrett applied for a plumbing apprenticeship at the Aylesbury Estate by Hill and Notting Hill Genesis in the London Borough of Southwark.  Just over a year later, Darren has not only finished his diploma achieving NVQ level II in Plumbing and Heating, he is also now a full time employee at JS Wrights, one of the sub-contractors on the project.

I am so very thankful to Ian Brown at Hill and Megan Doyle at Notting Hill Genesis for enabling me to succeed in my goal to becoming a fully qualifield plumber.  I would never have been able to complete this without their support and encouragement.”

“I have always loved working with my hands, its what I’m really good at. I have spent most of my career working as a plumber’s mate on domestic jobs  But I really wanted to achieve some qualifications and learn the trade properly.  I spotted this role on the Southwark Council website and haven’t looked back since


It’s been such a a roller coaster of a year for me, I have had to work extremely hard to ensure I was able to pass all of the components that make up NVQ level II.  But I have also had to quickly adapt and learn how to operate in a safe environment as Coronavirus had swept across London and the UK

Darren completed his diploma in October 2020 just as the UK was about to enter its second lockdown. Speaking of the pandemic Darren says

There is a whole team of people who have helped me on this journey and I couldn’t have achieved this without them.  My NVQ mentor was always in contact, following up on my progress to make sure I was on track and with his help I achieved 100% on the environmental test.  My assessor also fully supported me throughout the process.  On site, the team were always happy to find me the right projects so that I could evidence and complete the necessary work and I am delighted to now have a full time job with a team of people that I truly value.”

“I might go on to do some further exams at some point, but right now I am really happy and this will certainly be a year I will never forget

Darren has had some exceptional support and mentoring throughout the year during his apprenticeship, he explains

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