08 Feb

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: Meet Riette

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National Apprenticeship Week 2023: Meet Riette

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This week sees National Apprenticeship Week, championing the education and skills sector and celebrating the achievements of apprentices around the country and the positive impact they make to communities, businesses, and the wider economy.

Across our 53-acre Canada Water Masterplan, many of our contractors and partners have apprentices working with them, learning on the job to develop #SkillsForLife.

McAleer and Rushe, contractors on Plot K1 on Roberts Close, recently hired Riette, who is working towards an NVQ qualification in Plumbing while installing bathrooms on site.

Riette says:

“Prior to the pandemic I worked as a Set Designer for Visitor Attractions and Events for many years, in charge of the design, technical drawing and CAD, supervision of construction, installation, and commissioning of sets in a variety of fields. However, the lockdowns caused my entire industry to grind to a halt, and I lost all work. During this time, I started to redecorate my home and while due to my previous skill set I could do most things myself, I wasn’t able to do the plumbing. I began evening classes to learn this, which I found really interesting, and so decided to look into this as a trade.

“I completed my Level 2 City and Guilds Plumbing and Heating at Training Skills UK and I knew that I needed to do the Level 2 NVQ to fully qualify as a domestic Plumber. I didn’t realise until after completing my City and Guilds, however, that this is almost impossible unless you work on a building site.

“I felt stuck, as I didn’t think anyone was going to take on a short, middle-aged lady on a building site no matter how good her grades, but then I met Ian at Canada Water Connect, who got me an interview with HTC Mechanical. My fantastic now-supervisor, Emmett, gave me a chance, and I’m working really hard to justify the faith put in me.

“Emmett, Tiago the K1 Site Manager, and the other staff on [Plot K1] have been very friendly and supportive and given me excellent advice; I’m learning loads and making strong inroads into my NVQ which I hope to complete this year and then tackle my Gas Safe qualification.”

If you’re looking for new jobs and training like Riette, Canada Water Connect can help with advice and support on opportunities across the Masterplan and beyond. Contact Ian Walker on

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