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European Vocational Skills Week
News announcement12 November 2020Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

It was a tough decision to start again


© 2020, Mark Fitzgerald

I previously worked as a landscaper and gardener, so I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands. After a long winter when things weren’t as busy as I’d hoped, I started looking to services that would always be essential, all year round. It was a tough decision to start again but for me, it was the right one.

I chose plumbing as my apprenticeship route as I believed it would be a skill that I could always find work with. Designer Group had a number of apprentices from different career backgrounds and they value an individual’s experience, regardless of their age. They also have an in-house Training Academy, which I’d heard about - it was definitely an added benefit. My decision to retrain has paid off so far – that’s not to say it’s been easy.

Throughout my apprenticeship I’ve had great support from Designer Group, from internal training courses, to representing the Company at the National Generation Apprenticeship competition and winning! It’s an experience I would never have had without Designer Group’s encouragement.

I’ve learned too many skills to name them all, but some that stick out for me are: pipe manipulation, hand tools, power tools and scaffolding training.


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