It is crucial for industry to support and encourage young people into taking up apprenticeships, says Julie McLean, head of marketing at plumbing and heating merchant, Plumb and Parts Center.

Plumb and Parts Center, and parent company Wolseley UK, are growing their customer service apprenticeships and graduate schemes, having seen 21 apprentices go on to take full-time sales roles within one of its UK-wide network of branches to date.

One of Plumb and Parts Center’s newest apprentices, Courtney Grant-Davidson works at the Ascot Drive branch in Derby and is 16 months into his 24-month apprenticeship.

He is enjoying working at Plumb and Parts Center which he sees as a stepping-stone to his longer-term plans in sales. He says he has learnt a lot since he joined the company where he is encouraged to ask questions, ask for help but also to use his own initiative.

Mr Grant-Davidson said his apprenticeship has given him precious experience and he has received fantastic support, while admitting that he has fallen for his fair share of customer and colleague tricks – don’t remind him about left-handed screwdrivers!   

When asked if he would recommend taking an apprenticeship at Plumb and Parts Center, Grant-Davidson said he would, especially if candidates enjoy talking to people and learning new things.

He has also already gained useful practical qualifications, including qualifying on an electric forklift in his first week and is keen to take advantage of every training opportunity.

For further information on apprenticeships at Plumb and Parts Center visit