Skill Builder’s ‘Day in the life’ feature takes a look at a typical day in the life of different tradespeople. In this installment, we talk to Plumber/Carpenter and married father of three Stuart Roache, the winner of Screwfix’s Top Tradesperson 2018.
After deciding on a career change at the age of 30 Stuart trained at night college for six-years before becoming qualified in both joinery and plumbing. He is now devoted to supporting adult learners and plans to recruit and train them so they are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to also succeed.
Name: Stuart Roache
Company: Abington Home Maintenance
What time does your day start?
I’m normally up by 7am to put the kettle on and usually out the door by 8am.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My customers! Business is very busy for me and I have jobs booked in and deadlines to meet, so the loyalty to my customers to be on time is key to me.
What does a typical day entail for you?
I don’t really have a typical day as such, yes I have jobs booked in but that could all change very quickly as I could get a call for an emergency job that needs doing straight away so my day can change at the drop of a hat, but normally I would get up in the morning and check e-mails and take names and numbers of people that I need to ring during the day, whilst I am out I will collect materials for jobs and re-stock my van with parts, I would then go to the 1st job and work through the day on jobs booked in, when I eventually get home I would spend an hour or so doing quotes for jobs I’ve looked at previously.
When I do bigger jobs like re-furbs I project manage a team of tradespeople that I use and trust and organize all the materials needed and a schedule of works to complete the job on time but also balance all of my other workload as well.
What’s the best thing about your job?
That every day is different, I like to challenge myself with different jobs and how to approach things differently, I’m proud of what I have been able to achieve after re-training at night college for 6 years after wanting a career change at the age of 30.
What’s the worst thing about your job?
Paperwork and lots of it …. Oh and a disorganized van!
What qualifications do you have?
NVQ level 3 plumbing
NVQ level 3 carpentry
Are you a member of any professional alliances/associations?
Currently I am not a member of any professional alliance but I am looking to join APHC in the near future.
What tool couldn’t you live without?
My grips, I use them nearly on every job!
What do you drive?
For work I drive a VW Transporter it’s a proper work horse and is so reliable
For pleasure I have a VW Golf but this will change at some point as I have a new Mitsubishi
Warrior that will be arriving soon which was the top prize for winning Screwfix Tradesperson of the year 2018!
What do you do to unwind?
Being members of the National Trust allows days away with my wife Lise. Walks with my dog
Aston and throwing Bbqs for family and friends when the weathers good!
What piece of advice would you give to an up and coming apprentice?
Knuckle down, get on with your work and take in as much knowledge as possible because when you’re on your own doing a job in the real world there’s nobody there to show you how to get out of a sticky situation, and that’s when you have to think on your feet.