Arthur Padgett Ltd, based in Nelson is celebrating its 90th anniversary of trading this year, as well as 90 years of employing apprentices. A fourth generation business, Edward Padgett, Director is grandson to the company’s namesake, Arthur Padgett who started his working life as an apprentice over 100 years ago in 1913. After his Apprenticeship was interrupted by the First World War, Arthur set up his plumbing business in 1924 and never looked back,
“My grandfather inspired me to continue supporting apprentices,” Edward explains.
“Since we started trading we have taken on between 50-60 apprentices, so you can say that our whole business has a strong reliance on the value of training young people.”
The business currently employs two individuals who are undertaking a full time Apprenticeship as well as a Burnley College student who comes for work experience twice a week. Edward continues,
“We are careful in choosing our apprentices – we choose five who have three Cs or above at GCSE and ask that they each undertake a week’s work experience before we choose the individual we would like to take on.”
Arthur Padgett Ltd is one of the only plumbing companies that offers school pupils the chance to get work experience within its industry, and the chosen apprentice will gain skills and experience working within all areas of plumbing engineering be it bathrooms or heating.
“It is important that our apprentices have a willingness to learn, a good attitude and they show a genuine interest in the plumbing industry,” Edward says.
“It is no good if we take on those that are just being shoe horned into a job for the wrong reasons as neither party will benefit. Having said this, I can safely say that apprentices are essential to the successful operation of our business. A lot of our work needs two sets of hands and as such each engineer is partnered up with an apprentice. We have a constant evolution of apprentices becoming engineers and the quality of teamwork we have throughout is outstanding.”
Currently employing eleven members of staff, nine have taken Apprenticeships making the solid training offered the backbone of Arthur Padgett Ltd.
“Our apprentices undertake a Level 3, Apprenticeship in Plumbing and Heating over a period of three and a half years and our provider pays the cost of our Apprenticeships which does help how we operate,” Edward explains. “As I sit on the Building Advisory Board at Burnley College I am involved in the changes to Apprenticeship frameworks. As such I am also committed to anything like Apprenticemakers that helps people understand the benefits of apprentices to businesses, particularly within my industry.
“Apprentices can initially be a daunting undertaking but you very quickly recognise their value. For us, we rely on them so much so that we sometimes won’t start jobs if they’re not going to be in – you miss them when they’re at college and realise what a valuable asset they are to the company.”