Toby’s video diary, part 2: A gas course students view - Viva Training Academy

Earlier this month we introduced you to Toby, one of our trainee new entrant gas engineers on our Managed Learning Programme. Toby’s keeping a video diary about his training journey.

Having completed the first week, here’s what he has to say:

“Good morning, from a very cold and wet Manchester. It’s Friday morning and I’ve done my first week with Viva Training Academy. I wanted to give you a few thoughts on how it went, so you can get a real insight.”

Thrown in at the deep-end (in a good way!)

“Obviously, being a novice, there’s a huge amount of stuff to get your head round. It feels like I’ve had information thrown at me for four days, pretty much solidly, but it’s in a really constructive way. 

“It’s all very helpful and the guys at Viva really know their stuff.  They’ve told us that it’s all going to feel pretty alien at the minute, but as time goes by it will start to make sense. 

“You just have to trust the process – these guys really know what they’re doing and you know they’re giving you all this information so you can build on it as it’s reinforced over the fourteen or fifteen weeks of the training programme.  

“Yeah, it’ been really, really good.”

Critical information

“Next week we’re covering chimneys and ventilation – things that I’ve never really thought about before – but it becomes more and more apparent now, having done a week of this, how critical things like ventilation are. How critical it is that the flue is working properly in any gas appliance.

“I think we’re also spending a lot more time in the workshop next week. We’ll be doing some gas tightness testing, purging systems and flue analysis as well, so yeah – I’m really looking forward to getting more hands-on, now we’ve done a big chunk of the theory.”

What next?

“Me and my fellow students are all wondering about what happens when we finish. Having invested in this programme and with the confidence that by the end, we’ll be certified, qualified gas engineers, we’re thinking about the next step. 

“Is it going to be employment? 

“Is it to go out on our own? 

“How do we get the levels of experience we need? 

“Richard has arranged for a couple of the previous students to come in and talk to us so that we can learn from their experiences now they’ve been out in the wider world.

“They’ll show us the way forward, so we get a strong sense of where we’re going with this and why we’re doing it. We’re all excited about that.”

Keen to learn more

“Today is Friday. We only do college Monday to Thursday and I thought, rather than sitting at home watching Netflix all day, I’m going to reach out to a load of gas engineers and plumbers that I’ve met in the past and just get as much experience as I can. 

“Today I’m going to be working on changing some TRVs and draining down a heating system in a property where they’re having issues. 

“I’m going to be supporting a gas engineer – obviously for free – just so I can get more hands-on with the tools and really see more out there.’

“Obviously there’s no real need for this, as we get the portfolio placement as part of the programme, but I just really want to invest in this as much as possible. To become as competent as possible, as quickly as possible.

“Next week I’ll give you more updates as we work through the course, so you can really see how things are progressing. Have an awesome weekend, guys.”


Video Diary Parts: