Skip to content

Shanley Ryan – Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating

The Apprenticeship

Shanley had found it difficult to get a good plumbing apprenticeship, largely because at his previous employer he was not doing the range of work he needed for his plumbing course.

Shanley’s Training Officer at Calderdale College recommended he get a new job, which resulted in an Apprentice Plumber role with The Maintenance Group in Huddersfield.

He is now in the second year of a two-year Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating at Calderdale College, which could lead on to the more advanced Level 3 Diploma.

“When I started the course I did not know what to expect, but I shouldn’t have worried as everything is explained as we go along,” said Shanley.

“Each stage is learned and then we have a test on that part of the course. We all hope to pass first time, but if not we take a re-test after more study on the section we did not pass.

“Calderdale is a really friendly College and support is always available for apprentices who require it. My Training Officers are plumbers themselves, and I have the mobile numbers of my two training officers, so I can call them for support if I have any issues at college or work. I’ve also had regular site visits at work from my assessors, to gather evidence for my portfolio.”


Jim Baxter, Plumbing Training Officer and site assessor at Calderdale College, said: “Despite having a long journey to work, involving two buses, and needing to arrive by 8am, Shanley’s employer says he’s never late for work.

“As well as his good timekeeping, Shanley is good with the firm’s customers and has a positive, can-do attitude to his work and his learning.”

Shannon added: “The Level 2 Diploma gives me a recognised skill that will improve my career prospects once I qualify, and being on an apprenticeship means I am being paid a wage while I learn. During my course, for example, I’ve had the opportunity to fit a central heating boiler for the first time, under GasSafe supervision.

“A Level 3 advanced NVQ at Calderdale College is something I would definitely be interested in, if I get the opportunity, and my long-term goal would be to set up in business with my brother, who is an electrician. But that’s a long way off!”

Apprenticeships and Calderdale College

Calderdale College is a major work-based learning provider, delivering high-quality training programmes in partnership with local and national companies.

The only college in West Yorkshire to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for apprenticeships, the college delivers a range of qualifications, from Intermediate (Level 2) to Higher (Level 5), covering 25 different sectors, including Business, Construction and Digital Marketing.

On an annual basis we train over 500 apprentices and work with over 3,000 local and national employers, ranging from micro-businesses to some of the region’s largest levy-paying companies. We also help them to recruit apprentices to their workforce, matching hundreds of school and college leavers to apprenticeship vacancies.