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Plumbing Intermediate Apprenticeship at Gateshead College

Course description

This Apprenticeship covers training in a range of plumbing systems, components and their installation. The plumbing industry is a key part of the UK’s construction industry. It’s a highly competitive field that employs skilled craftspeople and technicians who work with a wide range of materials and technologies. Plumbers must be familiar with everything from domestic boilers to computerised control systems. 

As a plumbing apprentice, you’ll learn about the installation and maintenance of plumbing systems and components. The course covers basic plumbing skills, including safety, cold water and hot water systems, sanitation, and central heating. Only a qualified plumber has the skills which are needed to install and service a range of plumbing and heating equipment.

As a plumber, you could find yourself working in many different places – from construction sites to residential homes.  You will need to be able to work in all weather conditions as well as indoors.  You must be honest, trustworthy, and flexible as plumbers are often called out to emergencies outside normal working hours. 

You must be able to work with your hands as well as your mind to solve problems as you will need to plan jobs and know how systems and components operate, as well as understanding technical drawings and instructions.  The job will involve you using a wide range of tools and equipment including power tools, blowlamps and testing and measuring equipment.

Driving can also be part of the job and most plumbers drive their own or company vehicle. Job prospects are good, with plenty of scope for self-employment.

Course content

  • Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating  
  • Functional  Skills – English 2, Mathematics 2,  Information Communication Technology 1

The qualification you will achieve is:

  • NVQ Level 2 – City & Guilds Diploma in Plumbing and Heating
  • Functional Skills - English L2, Mathematics L2 and Information Communication Technology L1

  Additional Outcomes:

  • Employment Rights and Responsibilities,
  • Personal Learning and Thinking Skills

You will also get an Apprenticeship Completion Certificate from the Sector Skills Council when you have completed all the Framework requirements. 

The duration of the apprenticeship programme is approximately 24 months.

You will attend Gateshead College, Skills Academy for Construction based on the Team Valley Gateshead, one day per week for the duration of your apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

  • Ideally you should have 4 GSCE grades A-C, however support is available to those who do not.
  • You will also need to be employed within the sector. If you are not employed, however, it is still worthwhile applying to Gateshead College as we may be able to assist you in finding suitable employment or advise on another suitable course.
  • Advanced apprentices would also have to undergo numeracy and literacy tests, a skills test and an interview.

Financial information

From 1st October 2010, the National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £2.50. This hourly rate is for apprentices aged under 19 OR apprentices aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Future opportunities

You can search and apply for apprenticeship vacancies by using the National Apprenticeship website You will also find lots of useful information about apprenticeships including different types, levels and much more.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff. Apprentices can carry on working, maybe get promoted or go on to higher education in a college or university.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gateshead College directly.

Last updated date: 14 April 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • Gateshead College's Baltic Campus is located on the Gateshead quayside, just minutes from Newcastle City Centre and its attractions.

      The College is situated behind the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead.

      The College has its own car park, but at busy times alternative parking is available nearby.

      There is a charge for parking. Students can apply for a permit to allow free parking during study time.