SNIPEF Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation

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  Plumbing Apprenticeships - Scotland Become a Plumber  
Plumbing Apprenticeships:
Scotland >
Northern Ireland >

Who is involved in apprenticeships in Scotland?

College Training Centre Update Information

How to Become a Plumbing Apprentice - Scotland
Modern Apprenticeships are a combination of work-based and college/training centre training. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to earn while you learn, providing the dual benefit of gaining a nationally recognised qualification whilst being paid as you work. Over the course of your four year apprenticeship, you will work to achieve the SVQ level 3 in MES Domestic Plumbing.


Aberdeen plumbing apprentice wins 2015 SNIPEF SkillPLUMB Competition

The 40th Annual SNIPEF SkillPLUMB competition was won by Richard Wilson, a third year plumbing apprentice from Aberdeen who works for Aberdeenshire firm, Sugplumb.

The Training Provider
SNIPEF Training Services Ltd, is the training subsidiary company of SNIPEF. Established in 1983 the company acts as the Managing Agent and Training Provider offering the Modern Apprenticeship in Plumbing to young persons in Scotland.

SNIPEF Training Services Ltd is involved in the:

  • Identification of appropriate vocational training courses.
  • Administration of employees enrolled on the SNIPEF Training Services Modern Apprentice course.
  • Operation of funding arrangements.
  • Monitoring the vocational training through a team of Regional Training Officers located throughout Scotland. The Regional Training Officers maintain contact and monitor each apprentice's progress both on and off the job.

Entry & Enrolment
Recruitment into the Plumbing Industry is by direct employment with a plumbing and heating firm. SNIPEF Training does not employ apprentices or place them with an employer. Anyone who wishes to undertake a Modern Apprenticeship in Domestic Plumbing must be employed.

Whilst there is no age restriction for entry to the Plumbing Modern Apprenticeship, restrictions on Government funding means access to the programme depends on suitable funding being available.

Entrants are expected to have a minimum of 4 standard grades at general level to access a Modern Apprenticeship in Plumbing. In addition all entrants must pass the Plumbing Industry's Apprentice Entrance Selection Test.  Under the new curriculum for excellence the equivalent of standard grades at general level will be the national 4 qualification.

Colour Vision Deficiency

Individuals seeking an apprenticeship or to work in the plumbing industry should be aware that the nature of work in the plumbing industry involves working with coloured wires, pipes and other materials.

Any individual who has colour vision deficiency should be aware that (depending on the nature of that deficiency) this may impact on their ability to safely carry out work in the industry. It is a matter for individual employers to carry out a risk assessment to establish whether such colour deficiency represents a significant risk and to identify what action, if any, can be taken to either reduce or eliminate that risk.”

Modern Apprenticeship Outcome
Each Modern Apprentice if successful will gain the SVQ Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering Services (MES) Domestic Plumbing and be graded by the Plumbing Joint Industry Board (JIB) as a Plumber.

College Attendance
Modern Apprentices on the programme will receive the appropriate weekly wage set by the JIB while attending work and college from their employer.

Adopt an Apprentice Scheme

The Scottish Government has announced a package of financial support for redundant apprentices to enable them to complete their training via an “Adopt and Apprentice Scheme”. Employers who are willing to take on a redundant apprentice are eligible to receive a one-off grant of £2,000 to assist with wage costs. The employer is required to “give an undertaking to employ the apprentice for the duration of the remaining period of apprenticeship”. In the event that an employer is subsequently forced to make a recruited “redundant” apprentice redundant then the employer is required to repay the full £2,000 grant to SDS.

Eligible Apprentices

  • All Modern apprentices made redundant since 1 April 2008.
  • There are no age restrictions.
  • Proof of redundancy must be supplied by the apprentice e.g. P45 or official letter of redundancy.
  • Evidence of the circumstances which brought about the redundancy must be provided to SNIPEF Training Services Ltd.
  • An application form for grant (available from SNIPEF ) is required to be completed and submitted to SNIPEF Training Services Ltd for onward transmission to SDS who will respond within 14 days of receipt of a completed application form.
  • Payment of the £2,000 grant will be made as soon as possible thereafter.

If you are able to recruit either a redundant apprentice of normal school leaver please contact your local Regional Training Officer who can arrange to have the necessary paperwork sent to you and to assist you through the process.

Contact details for our team of Regional Training Officers, the scheme guide and application form which should be completed with the assistance of our Regional Training Officer can be downloaded above.

Apprentice Travelling and Lodging Claims
Apprentices are eligible to receive financial assistance from SNIPEF Training Services Ltd on a discretionary basis in respect of travel and lodgings only to their College/Training Centre.

It should be noted that the offer of assistance with travel and lodging is totally discretionary and the amount paid will be determined by the Trust and is not open to negotiation.

Before submitting a claim for “discretionary” travel and lodging financial assistance while attending training at College or Training Centre whilst undertaking the Plumbing SVQ or approved training. Apprentices and their employers should read the conditions carefully on the attachment (A 2011 Travel Claim Covering Letter revised Aug rev1)

Apprentice Wage Rates

You can find the Industry wage rates for apprentices here.

Industry Sick Pay

Industry Sick Pay is paid in addition to Statutory Sick Pay. Employers who operate the Industry Sick Pay Scheme will receive payments from the Scheme directly. Employers who choose not to operate the Scheme should pay the following Industry Sick Pay rates, as per the SNIJIB Training Agreement and the National Working Rules, Industry Sick Pay Scheme, Section 2  here.

Industry Sick Pay is paid at the same time as Statutory Sick Pay (ie over 28 weeks).



Industry Weekly Sick Pay Rate

Apprentice 1st year


Apprentice 2nd year


Apprentice 3rd year


Apprentice 4th year



National Minimum & Living Wage

As law related to the National Minimum (NMW) and Living (NLW) Wage are quite detailed you can download a summary opposite. This is intended to give you the basic requirements for employing a recognised plumbing apprentice registered with the SNIJIB. Employers requiring more detailed information should telephone the NMW helpline on 0845 6000 678. Employers who are members of SNIPEF can phone the head office 0131 556 0600.


Downloads & links

Are you looking to become an Apprentice Plumber?

(Info Booklet) >>

Skills Development Scotland - FIPS SMS & Email Validation Messages (pdf) >>

Employer Recruitment Incentive (pdf) >>

Adoption Grant Application Form (pdf) >>

Adoption Grant Guidelines (pdf) >>

National Minimum & Living Wage information revised July 2017 (pdf) >>

Regional Training Officers contact details (pdf) >>

Colleges and Training Centres (pdf) >>

Travel and Lodging Policy (pdf) >>

Travel and Lodging Initial Form (pdf) >>

Travel and Lodging Claim Form (pdf) >>

A Modern Apprenticeship in Plumbing - SVQ Level 3(pdf) >>

Apprentice Leaflet (pdf) >>


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