Lawrence’s story: plumbing apprentice

Lawrence, plumbing apprentice with EngieLawrence is a plumbing apprentice, having secured his apprenticeship with our repairs contractors in our west London Hub. He is currently working on day-to-day repairs team in west London.

‘I’m a Catalyst resident, living in west London. I was coming home from a shift at Domino’s pizza when I saw a poster pinned up near my home, advertising trade apprenticeship opportunities with Catalyst.

‘It took me a couple of days to think it through, but after another uneventful shift I thought – ‘Ok I need to find out what this apprentice stuff is about!’ I contacted Catalyst the next day to find out more and say I was interested in the role.

‘Catalyst’s Apprenticeship and Skills Project Coordinator, Neda Haghshenas, got in touch very quickly. We met up for a chat and I decided to apply for the plumbing apprenticeship. I had to submit an application form with a copy of my CV. Neda helped me fill in the form and freshen up my CV before I submitted my application. I waited a couple of days before they contacted me and asked me to attend an interview.

‘I’ve had interviews before, so I knew what to expect and didn’t feel too worried, but I obviously wanted to do well. The contractor’s apprenticeship coordinator and one of their senior operatives, interviewed me.They interviewed a number of us on the day, so I knew I had to show I was prepared to work hard.

‘They let me know the following Monday I’d successfully passed the interview stage and had been selected for a work trial.

‘The work trial lasted four days and really gave me a taste of what I’d been doing as an apprentice. I spent my time shadowing one operative, and helping him with his work. Suzanne gave me a workbook to fill in each day to help me think about what I was working on.

I found out the good news within a week. Apparently four people had been asked to undertake a work trial and out of those four I had been selected as their newest plumbing apprentice.’

My future career is now underway and it feels good. I’m not just standing in one place anymore, I’m moving forward to where I want to be.’

‘The turnaround time for each stage is only a few days so it’s quite a fast process. I first spoke to Neda about it around mid-August and I was sitting in the contractor’s Hatfield office going through my induction by the end of September. I started an NVQ level 2 in plumbing in October 2019. I’ll be working and earning a wage, but also studying one-day a week. ‘

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