Malcolm's #NAW17 story

Plus Dane plumber Malcolm Pooley trained as an apprentice more than 30 years ago and says the skills he learned set him up for life.

Malcolm started his apprenticeship in February 1984 at Congleton Borough Council, and has effectively stayed part of the same team ever since; the council’s housing stock was later taken over by Dane Housing, and after a merger became Plus Dane in 2008.

Malcolm, from Stoke-on-Trent, says: “When I left school I knew I always wanted to be in the building trade, and I was very lucky to get this job – I remember more than 200 kids applied for the apprenticeship. That sort of on-the-job training was really hard to get in the 80s, and I always remember when I started, one of the old bricklayers telling me I’d never see it out – and here I am 33 years later!

“It was a five year apprenticeship, and I’m still learning today. There’s always new technology and new things to study. It’s a job with so much variety, and I enjoy getting out, meeting the tenants and helping them however I can.

“At the end of the day, I enjoy my job and the work I get to do. It’s a really positive thing that the tenants can trust us 100% and know we get work done right. I feel I have job security and I’m part of a really good team that gets along really well.

“The career I’ve had all started with an apprenticeship, so I wanted to show the young people coming through today that apprenticeships really are a great way to learn skills that will allow you to move into a rewarding, full time job, and hopefully be able to provide work for life.”