Charlie Mullins: I Owe My Success To Apprenticeships

Pimlico Plumbers

Charlie Mullins, founder of The 5% Club member Pimlico Plumbers credits the skills he learnt during his four-year apprenticeship as a crucial factor in his success.

He describes his own apprenticeship as “one of the best things I’ve ever done” and it is for this reason that he ensures his company Pimlico Plumbers actively seek to offer high-quality apprenticeships to those looking to enter trade.

Mullins says: “Pimlico offers standard apprenticeships called the NVQ2 apprenticeships which is the equivilent of the City Guild years ago. They last three years. You get a certificate of qualification at the end of that and we won’t offer anything less than that as they can be diluted and aren’t always the real-deal.”

As well as offering apprenticeships for those looking to train in plumbing, there are also training option for those working in other departments including finance and HR.

Charlie-MullinsAs with all apprentices, Pimlico’s scheme is heavily moderate to make sure than not only do trainees have the adequate standard of teaching, but that those on the scheme are committed to taking control of their learning. The HR Manager liaises with the colleges in charge of the classroom-based learning aspect of the apprenticeship to make sure pupils are regularly attending and to offer extra support where necessary.

The quality of training is also moderated externally by the apprenticeship agencies supplying the company with new recruits. On a monthly basis they enter the workplace and assess the training that is offered, reporting back as to how well the company’s provision of training is.

According to Mullins “the feedback we’ve been given is really good because our apprentices are really eager to learn and they understand we have high standards.

“If an apprentice continually doesn’t turn up or doesn’t do their work, then they are out. We’ve only ever had this happen once, years ago.  All this administration, and the salary adds up – so we’re only willing to train staff if they are willing to learn.”

Pimlico Plumbers apprentice

Despite this, Mullins refers to his apprentices as being a “priceless commodity” as well as a long-term investment. As well as being the foundations upon which the future of the business is built, he also claims that having young-blood in the company brings “so much enthusiasm and so much joy to the work-force because you have a mixture of young and old people.”

He adds: “You also get to mould them while they are learning, so when you are finished you get the perfect employee for the work-place.”

To find out more information about Pimlico Plumber’s apprenticeship scheme, please visit

To find out more information about The 5% Club and how to become a member, please visit or get in touch by emailing

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