Three generations help celebrate Holmfirth plumbing firm Les Heywood and Son Ltd’s 50th anniversary
And the family firm says part of its success rests on its apprenticeships, having had three generations study at Kirklees College.
Les was an apprentice working for Tom Lockwoods in Honley while studying at Huddersfield Technical College, before going on to start the business back in 1966.
He is now retired and lives in Flamborough and the company is run by son Alan, while grandson Callum is in his final few months of his apprenticeship with the firm.
Alan also attended Huddersfield Technical College to carry out his apprenticeship, and Callum is at Kirklees College’s Brunel House Construction Centre.
He said: “I think it’s quite rare these days to find three generations of plumbing and heating engineers in one family business.
“Apprenticeships are great because you get the mix of the work with experience.
“You can learn the basic skills in the classroom but when you’re out on site you don’t always get the perfect environment.
“That way when you’re working away from college you can put the skills to use in a practical way to adapt and deal with real life problems and situations.”
As an example, Alan recalled getting an award at college for the best sheet lead and copperwork but found the first time he had to work on his own for real it was quite a different experience.
He said: “I was asked to do the lead work because I had been praised for my skills at college.
“But when I was up on the roof lead welding, the weather conditions were awful.
“It was completely different to doing the work sat at a bench in college.”