Despite a pandemic-fuelled jobs crisis facing teenage school-leavers, a 17-year-old from Chippenham has landed an apprenticeship with a plumbing and heating firm in his home town.
Alex Wiltshire has joined the team at John Williams Heating Services Ltd as the company’s latest apprentice.
The former student at Abbeyfield School in Chippenham is completing his Level 3 apprenticeship in heating and plumbing with the company through Wiltshire College.
Alex said: “I’m loving it, it’s been really fun and is the best decision I’ve made for my future. I’m learning through hands-on experience, I’m being productive and I’m meeting people. I’m earning and learning at the same time and enjoying the variety. One day I’m working at someone’s home in Chippenham, the next day I’m in Devizes.”
Alex decided an apprenticeship would work for him when he was about 12 years old. As a child he’d wanted to join the Army. However, as a diabetic that option was ruled out.
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was three. I’ve grown up with this condition, I understand it and I’ve never let it hold me back and I don’t’ intend changing that,” Alex said.
Founders of John Williams Heating Services, John and Debbie have always been committed to employing apprentices. They currently have several within the team and many of their engineers have already risen through the company having fully qualified.
Debbie said: “John started as an apprentice and we’ve always supported apprenticeships since our business was founded 16 years ago. We believe it’s a fantastic way for anyone to start out in a career.
“Alex is a joy in the office, he’s keen, enthusiastic and he wants to succeed. We’re lucky to have him working as part of our team.”