Apprentice fulfils dream to be one of the team

Now a fully qualified gas engineer, former apprentice Duane Lawson explains how he was supported by Cumbria Housing Partners to fulfil his dream to become one of the team at AFM Gas Services Ltd.

Duane Lawson with AFM Gas Services Ltd Managing Director, Dave McEuanIf don’t have the qualifications you need to advance in your workplace but want to get ahead, then an apprenticeship could change your life.  


Duane was living with his parents in Maryport, when gas engineers visited the house to upgrade the heating system. After talking with them, he contacted the housing association landlord to ask how he could get in touch with the company.  Duane said: “I wanted to be one of their team. I had studied plumbing but had been unable to complete my studies by finding a job which would give me with the required practical experience. I took my CV to AFM Gas Services Ltd and after an interview they agreed to take me on as an apprentice. I haven’t looked back.”

We champion apprenticeships

Dave McEuan, Managing Director for AFM Gas Services Ltd said: “We have championed apprenticeships since the company was founded in 2002. Over the past 17 years we’ve supported nine apprentices to achieve qualifications whilst working with us.

Gas engineers require a high skill level and we ensure all our team are certified to carry out their trade. We are committed to supporting our team in vocational training to ensure our workforce is professionally fully certified;this is paramount in ensuring the safety of our team and the local community.  Since completing his apprenticeship  Duane has undertaken additional studies to complete further gas qualifications for domestic appliances. We are delighted that Duane has successfully completed his studies and he is a valued member of our team.”

Based in Workington, AFM Gas Services Ltd are one of the approved service providers for CHP. The company covers approximately 2000 square miles of Cumbria, the 16 strong workforce look after the servicing and installation of gas appliances to more than 2200 homes scattered across the county, from Carlisle to Barrow.

Thank you CHP  for your support

During the four year apprenticeship, Duane attended Lakes College on day release; here apprentices are trained to Level 3 City & Guilds in plumbing and complete their training with natural gas and LPG qualifications. The four year apprenticeship was supported by Cumbria Housing Partners (CHP); providing Duane with a tool kit, organising tutorial support and paying for driving lessons. Duane said:” I want to thank CHP for their support. Being able to drive is a necessity for my job and the expense of lessons was out of my reach”.

“I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who feels they can’t progress in the job they are in. An apprenticeship not only helps you to get the qualification you need, it also gives the work experience businesses are looking for and you earn while you learn. Now I am fully qualified I can plan a future and get on in life. “

Lesley Dixon, Director of Cumbria Housing Partners said: “Cumbria Housing Partners require approved contractors to invest in the local communities by committing to offer training and employment opportunities to local residents. By working together we can create opportunities for a better future for people in the communities we live and work in. Duane’s story is a great example of how this can work positively for both the company and local people. We are proud to have been able to support Duane in achieving his aspirations and wish him great success in the future.”