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Case Studies

John & Mitie - Plumbing Diploma

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John’s story is one we see a lot of at the school – where an employer wants to up-skill their staff but doesn’t have on-site training. In John’s case, his employer Mitie - one of the UK's largest facilities management and professional services company – wanted another member of their team trained in plumbing. 

John works for the Mechanical & Electrical Facilities Management team servicing Lloyds Banking Group, and began our City & Guilds Plumbing Diploma in March 2023, finishing in August. 

John’s supervisor said: “It was really easy to fit the training around the team's schedule. John was able to do a week per month instead of a 6-week block which made this more manageable.  

The team has benefited as we now have someone else with a plumbing qualification, and with John's plumbing-based skill set he can help on more sites. John will be able to share his knowledge with colleagues as and when the need arises.  

We would definitely recommend the training to someone else looking to up-skill. The flexibility in the training and being able to pick and choose training dates to suit the business was a great help and one of the main reasons we chose this course.” 

Peter Shaw - from Army to full time Plumber

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Peter spent sixteen and a half years in the British forces as a bagpiper for the Royal Highland Fusiliers before realizing he needed to retrain to support his young family. He completed oa 2-week tiling course, followed by the Plumbing Diploma.

Peter loved the building aspect of the courses on offer, but wasn’t sure which course to take. He enjoyed the tiling course so much that he decided to take the longer plumbing course as well. Peter’s father and his uncles were also plumbers, so he decided to give it a shot.

Peter now works full time for Edinburgh Council as an indoor plumber maintaining and installing bathrooms and kitchens, as well as helping with any major repairs that are needed.

Peter said: “These courses changed my life and have given me massive sense of achievement. They pushed me to get on with work in my own home and helped me find employment. I learned to price jobs up correctly and the people skills to manage clients. As a result, I have landed a job for life with a good salary and work ethic. I'm also part of Trades Training School’s students’ support group where I can access help and advice, and return to the school to show off my skills.”

Shannon - Wall & Floor Tiling

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Shannon from Edinburgh, took the Tiling Diploma Level 2 course after leaving a job as a mobile engineer. Shannon’s dream is to move to Australia, and she wanted to launch a career that would allow her to do that.


After gaining her City & Guilds, Shannon now has full-time employment as a tiler in Edinburgh renovating properties. She’s tiling kitchens and bathrooms, gaining the experience she needs to complete her NVQ.

Shannon said: “This course has taken me 10 steps closer to my dream, I couldn’t have asked to get more from the course. My instructors Antony, Matty and Immy were great, and I also benefit from ongoing support from Antony, which has been both helpful and reassuring".

Brendan & Nacanieli - Armed Forces Resettlement

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Brendan Forbes, a British Army veteran, runs a successful property maintenance business, Forbes & Son. He’s committed to empowering veterans, employing them in support of the Armed Forces Covenant. With strong leadership skills from his time in the military, he’s passionate about passing on those skills, knowledge and values to every team member he employs.
At Trades Training School, we hold the same values. Our founder Antony served with the Royal Marines and has first-hand experience of leaving the armed forces and changing careers. Our Armed Forces Resettlement Training offers ELC-funded courses, that Brendan took advantage of when enrolling a member of his team – Nacanieli Bale – with us earlier this year to take our Building, Installation and Property Maintenance course.

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Stephen - Wall & Floor Tiling

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Stephen from Livingston was one of Trades Training School’s earliest students, embarking on the Wall & Floor Tiling Course in 2008 after he took early redundancy from his job as area manager for a vending machine company. Despite spending 14 years in management, he was looking for a new career and after speaking to a friend who was a tiler, he decided to retrain. He returned to the school in 2015 to gain his SVQ qualification. 

Today, Stephen owns his own successful tiling business that undertakes domestic, commercial and industrial work, including every specialist area of tiling. He operates mainly in the central belt but has worked all over the UK. Occasionally Stephen returns to the school to teach and act as a mentor; taking students out with him for work experience and providing advice in the students' support group.  

Stephen said: “The course gave me a new path and outlook in life, as well as the stability of a new career. I've loved the freedom of being my own boss—I can be myself and have had more time to spend with family. I really enjoy maintaining my connections with the school and helping others invest in themselves and move forward.”  

Joanna - an artist learns Venetian Plastering!

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Edinburgh-based artist Joanna Kessel attended our Venetian Plastering course. Our latest case study tells story of how artisan techniques weave their way into the courses we teach at the school, demonstrating that artists and creatives can learn valuable skills from our courses.

Joanna studied in both the ceramic and tapestry departments at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1980s. She then went on to study tapestry within the painting school at the Royal College of Art in London.

Joanna said “I left the course feeling informed and inspired.  The course was well worth doing.  It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a site and being at Trades Training School brought some of that back.  I really enjoyed the work ethos and atmosphere at the school.  I found it interesting to hear others talking about their work.  It reminded me how much work and dedication goes in to the development of these manual skills, how important traditional trades, artisanal and craft skills are and how the end products or built environments can enrich our lives.”

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