Before entering the trades as a Plumbing & Heating engineer I worked for several years as a commercial surveyor in London and Surrey in Property Management.
In 2013 I decided to leave the surveying profession altogether and swap my desk for a van and tools and have never once looked back!
My entry into the plumbing and heating industry began with gaining my City & Guilds and NVQ plumbing, gas and electrical qualifications whilst working as an apprentice for a experienced and successful Horsley plumber and heating engineer.
This continued for some time. However being able to speak some German and with interest in gaining knowledge and installation of heating products (Vaillant, Worcester, Gerberit etc) I applied to build on my UK qualifications with a German ausbildung or apprenticeship and was fortunate to secure a work contract. With a work contract agreed with my German employer I rode over on my Bavarian motorcycle (at the time) where I worked in the Bodensee region of Southern Germany.
I was in Germany for just short of 18 months before I returned to the UK to form my own company Gecko Plumbing & Heating in the summer of 2015 - the name inspired by my fondness of the creatures during my travels and for their ability to crawl into tight spaces - not that dissimilar to plumber/ heating professionals as I have learnt.
Whilst in Germany I gained valuable lessons in installing underfloor heating systems, German boilers and heating products as well as advanced pipework installation techniques such as press fit and Oxy/Acetelene brazing. Although UK homes are built a lot differently to our German neighbours the development of products on the market now allow for greater compatibility and I enjoy bringing my experiences and knowledge to the UK market. It is also interesting seeing how the plumbing and heating sector is shaping up with techniques and technology filtering down from 'across the pond'.
With the UK subject to energy and global emission reduction targets I would say we can all expect to see significant change in the regulation of the gas and heating industry over the next 20 years. Its certainly an interesting time to be involved!
Thanks for reading.