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Our Apprentices: Past and Present

6th February 2024

Our Apprentices: Past and Present


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship offers anyone over the age of 16 the ability to work and study at the same time. The time is split between on-the-job training and working towards a qualification, in the case of the Metro Rod Apprenticeship Scheme the end goal is to become a drainage engineer.

Our current apprentice, Charlie, started his apprenticeship in August 2023, after leaving college because he didn’t feel suited to the learning environment. Charlie felt better suited to an apprenticeship after getting a taste of the industry following a period of work experience with his father. Our second apprentice, Callum is over 2 years into his apprenticeship and says his favourite thing about Metro Rod is that it feels like a close family network as everyone has each other’s backs, he can’t wait to finish his apprenticeship so he can have his own van!

Assistant Drainage Engineer

Metro Rod educates all our newly recruited assistant drainage engineers to our high standards, so no experience is necessary when starting a career with us. Being a second man, it is essential to be able to work safely to quickly diagnose and deliver solutions for high levels of customer satisfaction.

Callum, who started with Metro Rod as an apprentice in 2021, is currently working as an assistant engineer shadowing and assisting our tanker operatives. Being able to learn more complicated and tougher tasks and complete them alone or with very little help is what Callum loves best about his experience as an engineer’s assistant.

Completing various jobs ranging from emergencies, blockages, and pre-planned maintenance are something that regularly includes the need to have a second man, who knows about the drainage industry and can assist in tasks that assist the primary engineer including lifting, guiding, and jetting.

Drainage Engineer

A Metro Rod drainage engineer is someone who is highly trained in all aspects of the drainage business. Engineers complete both pre-planned and reactive emergency drainage projects where they must assess and solve problems as and when they arrive.


An engineer’s job ranges from clearing blockages using techniques such as high-pressure water jetting to performing pipe repairs with drain relining. Some jobs can be completed with one engineer whereas others need at least an engineer assistant to assist in any issues that could come up.


Gethin, one of our first-ever apprentices at Metro Rod Newport, worked as a drainage engineer for 2 years after his apprenticeship and would highly recommend it as it is a very hands-on trade job where to become a valuable member of the team everyone must gain experience that can’t come just from courses and sitting in a classroom.

“The apprenticeship scheme has provided a structured programme that gives people the necessary skills to become a successful and professional member of our team. Starting out as an apprentice gives you the opportunity to learn all aspects of the drainage industry and has the potential to grow yourself into a senior drainage engineer or even a manager. It has been a huge advantage in growing our business.”

Aditional Career Paths

There are various routes that drainage engineers can take if they want to expand their knowledge and want a change of pace. Including:

Tanker operative- Tanker Operatives require a HGV license and are usually over 21. Even though there are multiple different types of tankers at Metro Rod, they don’t require different qualifications but instead product familiarization.

CCTV Operative- Working from one of our custom hi-tech camera vans, CCTV surveys are carried out to assess pipework, analyse results, and produce reports to fix any issues. Like drainage engineers, CCTV operatives complete jobs for both commercial and residential customers.

CCTV Data Administrator- Having experience with being a CCTV operative isn’t necessary, but it is ideal as the job also requires using iTouch software. The main duties are quality checking and editing CCTV Data that has been carried out by the CCTV engineers.

Senior Engineer- Becoming a senior engineer is the only job on this list that cannot be applied for. Instead, it must be worked for, after years of hard work and extensive knowledge to be able to complete any job. The senior engineer position is one where colleagues will ask for advice and be asked for assistance.

Sales Associate- Unlike the other jobs suggested, a sales associate doesn’t have to come from a drainage background. However, it is easier to make quotes and have issues explained when there is background knowledge of the industry.


What life skills have you learnt from your apprenticeship at Metro Rod?

Gethin and Callum, when asked about life skills they learnt during their apprenticeship both agreed that the 3 most important things they learnt intertwined as they were all needed to make the apprenticeship successful. Working in a team, problem-solving, and using initiative to ensure that the job is completed correctly even if there are issues that come up, by using initiative they were able to solve and complete any job that was encountered.

‘The best part about the life skills I have been learning while on the job is that you can put whatever you have learnt into practice straight away, unlike in school. This helps me understand and remember things better as I am physically doing it rather than it being hypothetical.’ Says Charlie.

Do you want to find out more about our apprenticeship scheme?

Check out our previous articles-

Metro Rod Apprentice Scheme

Metro Rod Take on 2 Apprentices!

Our Apprenticeship Scheme and Beyond!

Talk to you local metrorod specialist

Talk to your local Metro Rod specialist

We are always happy to arrange a free site assessment and no obligation quotations for any work you might need. Alternatively, you can call our emergency hotline number on 0800 66 88 00

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