Toby’s video diary part 4: Working on-site - Viva Training Academy

We’ve been following the progress and experiences of one of our trainees on the Managed Learning Programme and in this episode, an upbeat Toby reports on how he’s getting on in week three;

“Hey guys, welcome to the next update on the gas training course I’m doing with Viva Training Academy. 

“I’m in week three now and it’s been a great experience so far. Everything’s starting to make real sense now; everything slots together. 

“The stuff that we did on day one, day two, is built upon time and time again, to a point where it’s really beginning to sink in – we’re starting to link things together and we understand a lot more of the aspects of the gas engineering business and working safely with gas.”  

Practice papers

“So this week we’ve done quite a few practice tests and previous exams – and it’s not as scary as it sounds! It’s been great because it shows both us, and the instructors, any elements that we haven’t quite picked up – areas we need to brush up on. 

“It’s really good to move away from some of the examples in the book, and see how different examining bodies pose questions – to give you a better understanding of the variety of things you’re going to come across in the working environment.  

“The other key element of this is that you learn there’s a wide range of different places to look for information. 

“So when you’re working and you need to find out something, you’re looking at the database on the appliance, you’re looking at the manufacturing instructions, you may even be looking at British Standards to find the information you need.

And this is fine, because in reality, you’re not going to know everything, you can’t remember everything, or you may be faced with some odd appliance you’ve never seen before. 

“It’s not about remembering every single appliance, but about understanding where to look for what you need and understanding the basic principles and how to apply them.”

Growing in confidence

“That’s all been great – and the other quite interesting thing about the test papers is that there were a couple of times where there was an ambiguous answer and some of my fellow students, you know, we almost start arguing: No, I don’t agree with that!”, which again is great because the more we can argue the points, the more it shows that we’re really understanding things and things are really clicking together – really cementing, which is fantastic.”

Tools of the trade

“The other thing we’ve done this week is work on the practical skills. We’re a mixed group, in terms of practical abilities and practical experience. 

“Myself, I’ve never done any pipe work before so soldering copper pipe was completely new to me and once I’m sure it would take a lifetime to master and get it really, really neat, it’s actually relatively simple. 

“You know, once you’ve got the basic concepts, mastering how to use the blow-lamp, it’s actually okay – and I was really proud with how quickly myself and the others picked it up. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to getting on site with that now.” 

Work placements

“Next week we are out on placement. I think we’ve got some really good placements lined up.  

“We’ve been cooped up for three weeks now and are all really excited to go and actually start working.  I think it’s like when you learn how to drive. 

“There’s only so much you can learn in a classroom environment. It’s actually getting outside and really doing it, which makes such a difference. That’s when we will really jump up to the next level. Anyway I’ll keep you updated over the next few days. So yeah, speak soon.”


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