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Plumbing and Heating Advanced Apprenticeship (Gas) at Gateshead College

Course description

On the Advanced Apprenticeship, your skill base will broaden to include working with gas, and you will be able to enter the profession at a higher level. The work also covers training in a range of plumbing systems and components and their installation.

From installing sanitation systems and servicing boilers to laying underground drainage pipes, plumbers work for the construction industry as well as for commercial and domestic clients. In recent years, the industry has also been involved with developing environmentally sound technologies like solar water heating and rainwater harvesting.

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, blow lamps 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

As an Advanced Plumbing apprentice, you will learn about the installation and maintenance of plumbing systems and components. You will also take a certificate in basic plumbing skills, covering safety, cold water and hot water systems, sanitation, and central heating. 

You will work towards:

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating (Gas-Fired Water and Central Heating Appliances) – recognises your competence in the workplace
  • Knowledge units including understanding how to organise resource in building services engineering, specific core installation maintenance and understanding core gas safety for natural gas in domestic building services.
  • Functional Skills – Mathematics and English at level 2.  Applicants will be required to have completed the relevant Intermediate Level Apprenticeship, which includes Functional Skill ICT Level 1 ICT.

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. I
  • f 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.


  • An NVQ assessor is responsible for visiting you in your workplace to assist you in compiling a portfolio of evidence. 
  • The technical units are assessed by assignments and knowledge based tests whilst you attend the day release programme at the college.  
  • Functional skills are assessed by examination and portfolio. 
  • Apprentices who have the appropriate GCSE grades or key skills may be exempt from completing the Functional skills.

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.

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.