Checkatrade member 64 Degrees Heating Ltd


Former apprentice now business owner Matt Taylor ‘pays it forward’ and successfully invests in the future with his own apprentice.

“I was an apprentice…and was keen to offer a new entrant the same opportunities as me. My business has really benefited from having my apprentice on board. When I saw the article for apprentice funding on the Checkatrade app I jumped at the chance.”

64 Degrees Heating Ltd is a small family-run business based in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, covering all aspects of domestic and light commercial plumbing and heating including gas. Founder Matt Taylor started in the industry over 20 years after being offered an apprenticeship in pipefitting (commercial pipework/boiler rooms) by J L Pipework based in Coventry. Having changed focus to more domestic work Matt was always grateful for the varied experience the apprenticeship provided, and the opportunities available to him as a result.

Matt relocated to Oxfordshire seven years ago and set up 64 Degrees Heating Ltd. Once the business was established he was determined to take on an apprentice. “Having benefitted from an apprenticeship myself, and witnessed the decline/eradication of apprenticeships within the industry I was keen to offer a new entrant the same opportunities I had to join an exciting and varied industry”, said Matt.

“I met my apprentice, James initially when he took a Saturday job at Active Plumbing Supplies (the local merchants)"

He took the job on as a way of finding an apprenticeship and I actually missed first chance to take him on (I was worried then about the lack of government support – non-existent at the time – the additional insurance costs and accounts bills). “James then enrolled on the Level 2 NVQ, and, for various reasons, his initial employer let him down so I seized my chance and took him on and helped him through his successful completion of that course.

“Once he passed James was offered a place on the Level 3 NVQ and I was approached by his education provider (Swindon College) for a 5% contribution towards the course – around £750, which I agreed to being both pleased with his progress and keen for him to continue his training.

“With James progression in mind I decided it was time to expand the business, and asked around the various trades I work with to find out what had worked for them.

“The general consensus was Checkatrade was the way to go – clear payment structure, review focussed, trusted by the consumer.

“As a ‘newbie’ I spent some time (on their advice) tweaking my profile, and the work started coming in. Looking through the info on the Checkatrade app I found an article on funding available for apprentices.”

A government scheme – the Apprenticeship Levy – means that large employers pay into a training budget for their staff. At the end of the financial year any unused Levy funds are collected by the government however Checkatrade has donated its unused Levy with support from the HomeServe Foundation, which is a registered charity, and this means that CAT members and other companies can apply to have their training costs covered. Use it or lose it.

James again: “I applied for funding for my contribution to James training, which was successful. Checkatrade, working with the HomeServe Foundation, paid for the whole of James’s training and Hardeep Sidhu at the HomeServe Foundation was with me at every stage.

Best business advertising I’ve used.

“I joined Checkatrade expecting to generate more work for the business. Which it did. I wasn’t expecting the added benefits of the advice from the business team, the members offers, and the trade forums. And, best of all, the help for James’s training supports hi, supports my business and supports the future of our industry. It’s a win-win-win!”

More info

Flexi-job apprenticeship will allow agencies to be the apprentice’s employer for the duration of their apprenticeship while placing the apprentice with other host employers for short term placements. This will enable apprentices to move between businesses as they complete their apprenticeship, while remaining employed throughout by the agency.

More info

PAYE is HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) system to collect Income Tax and National Insurance from employment. More information are available here