Meet the ‘new’ and the ‘old’ working together to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week

By Anita Jaynes on 14 March, 2016

Dan Mayell and Charlie Austin are celebrating success in their apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week 2016.

The two young men are at opposite ends of the apprenticeship spectrum working for John Williams Heating Services in Chippenham. As Dan starts on his journey through apprenticeship, Charlie has come out the other side.

Dan, aged 16 and a former pupil of Melksham Oak Community School has just started his apprenticeship with the company and his working towards his level 2 NVQ in plumbing and heating. He then hopes to move on to level 3 and is also studying at Wiltshire College, Trowbridge.

He said: “I’m really enjoying working with this team. I’m working hard and learning all of the time. I’ve been working on pipework, notching and drilling to support a more experienced engineer and learning about personal safety.”

Alongside Dan is Charlie, 21, who lives in Chippenham and formerly attended Abbeyfield School in the town. He’s just finished his apprenticeship and is now a fully-qualified heating engineer.

Charlie said: “I’ve just changed and the job has just changed a great deal since I started a few years ago. When I started I didn’t even know what a spanner was and now I can fit full systems. I feel I’ve taken a huge jump in quite a short period of time.”

Dan and Charlie are just two of the five apprentices who have been nurtured by John and Debbie Williams the co-founders of John Williams Heating Services. Both are advocates of apprenticeships, believing it’s an important route to a fulfilling and successful career. John started his own career as an apprentice.

Debbie is also an Employer Apprentice Ambassador with the Skills Funding Agency and gives talks to young people and businesses about the value of apprenticeships.

Last week Tuesday March 1 the company, based on the Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate in Chippenham, was chosen to take part in a promotional film by the local campaigns team, Cabinet Office South West, to show the value of apprenticeships.

National Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday March 14 to March 18 and the theme for 2016 is ‘an apprenticeship can take you anywhere’.

Debbie said: “We believe in apprenticeships and actively recruit young people who want to learn on-the-job. Apprenticeships are widespread. They are available in about 1,500 job roles across 170 industries – so they are a serious route to a fulfilling career and we’re immensely proud to be part of that national statistic.”

John Williams Heating Services has won multiple business awards and is currently a finalist in the upcoming Enterprising Wiltshire Awards for Apprentice Employer of the Year. John Williams Heating Services is a Which? Trusted Trader and is registered with

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Pictured above: Charlie Austin and Dan Mayell