'Never too Old' to Become a Plumber

Published: 27th April 2010
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A former factory worker has proved that it is never too late to retrain and become a plumber.

After twenty years of working in factories, Kev Rowley achieved his goal of becoming a qualified plumber, reported the Daily Mirror.

Mr Rowley, from Wales, decided to look at the possibility of plumbing courses after becoming disillusioned with his previous job as a machine setter in an injection moulding factory, which required him to work long and demanding shifts.

Mr Rowley knew it was time to look at plumbing courses after seeing how much his sons were enjoying working for a plumbing company.

Mr Rowley realized that becoming a plumber would improve his work-life balance and enable him to spend more time with his family and friends.

Mr Rowley soon began to experience the joys of learning a trade despite being trained by younger people.

"I'd always get back to work the next day and realize how much I loved it. It didn't matter that I'd usually be out with younger guys teaching me the ropes," he told the Mirror.

Mr Rowley believes that his age actually helped him during the learning process as having reached 45 he was positive he wanted to become a plumber and determined to achieve a qualification in order to avoid going back to factory life and shift work.

He told the newspaper: "I think at 16 or 17, some youngsters don't yet know what they want out of life and are more keen on going out with their mates."

Now that he is a qualified plumber, Mr Rowley has said he is reaping the rewards of a more challenging and satisfying career, which continues to surprise and delight him.

"I love it. No two days are ever the same. My work is full of challenges and I'm out and about all the time meeting new people. I couldn't ask for more. I just enjoyed all the learning. Even though I'm qualified I'm still learning. It's one of those jobs," he told the Mirror.

Mr Rowley also said that he thought he had improved his health by retraining to become a plumber as he felt shift work was physically damaging.

Researchers at the University of Surrey found that working shifts will disturb a person's biological clock, leading to sleep loss, impaired memory and an increased risk of heart disease or strokes.


Able Skills provide vocational training through electrical courses and plumbing courses.

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