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Learn a trade and secure a great future with Plumbing at Bedford College

January is finally over, but with more wintery weather to come, spring is still a little way off. As well as making us scrape our car windscreens and dig out our hats and gloves, the freezing winter weather can also affect our homes.

Our Gas & Plumbing students will be well aware of all the hazards during the cold spell. From freezing pipes to problems with your boiler, at our Gas & Plumbing Centre in Kempston, they learn all the technical skills needed for this demanding trade, whatever the weather!

The centre has a range of specialist facilities that recreate the real working environments you’ll encounter when pursuing your plumbing career. Approved by industry bodies including City & Guilds and the British Plumbing Employers Council (BPEC), we provide the very latest knowledge of traditional gas and plumbing techniques and state-of-the-art renewable technologies.

There are 21 plumbing bays and 12 airing cupboard spaces, steel pipe area, an unvented hot water training area and an integrated gas assessment centre as well as gas cookers, fires, boilers, heaters and domestic appliances.

Plumbing student Kayleigh says: “The tutors know what they’re talking about because a lot of them have been working in the plumbing industry for a long time, so they’re not just teaching you from a text book, but adding their own experiences to the lessons.”

If you decide to join a Plumbing course, you won’t just benefit from your tutors’ expertise but that of local employers too. They have direct input into the design of our programmes and will provide you with work experience, so that you know you’re learning exactly what you need to know to get a job after College. Employers include Stuart Turner Pumps, Smith Brothers Stores Ltd, Danfoss, Speedfit and Salamander Pumps

You’ll also have opportunities to take part in competitions. In 2015, one of our apprentices, Matthew Jakeman won a bronze medal for plumbing at the UK Skills Show. And in 2016, another apprentice, Ultan Coonan, reached the final of the ‘HIP UK Apprentice of the Year’ against students from other colleges.

Once you’ve completed your full-time study programme with us, you can continue to study at the College to gain an NVQ Level 2 and NVQ Level 3 in order to become a qualified plumber. When first qualified, plumbers can earn between £18,000 and £22,000 a year. With experience, this can rise to between £22,000 and £35,000 a year.

You could also progress on to our range of Foundation Degrees in Building Services or Sustainable Construction.

» Find out more about the Plumbing & Gas courses we offer