GOING from work experience to a company director in 12 years should be inspiration for teenagers, according to one Leominster plumber.

After leaving secondary school, Ollie Barker went straight into a heating and plumbing apprenticeship and teamed up with a Leominster firm who've supported him ever since.

Ollie, 28, said that his growth should be proof that anyone going into a trade should always consider an apprenticeship as hard work pays off.

He said: "It's a massive achievement. I didn't think everything would happen so quick. I went through the ranks and progressed quickly.

"I'd say people leaving school should definitely apply, weather they want to do plumbing or electrical or anything. It's better than university.

"It was a bit of shock when they asked me (to become a director), but in a good way. My family were over the moon."

The owner of Grange Heating and Plumbing said they currently have four apprentices. Ewen Grange said having apprentices has allowed the business to grow quicker than expected.

He said: "12 years is amazing, it goes to show a youngster where doing an apprenticeship can lead. It's inspirational that shows going into trade doesn't mean that's what you'll be doing for life.

"I'm so chuffed for him. I feel proud of him to see how he's progressed through the firm. Our business have grown because of apprenticeships."

Apprenticeships see people get given training on-the-job, usually alongside some college learning, for a formal qualification. In 2016/17, 92 per cent of apprentices said their career prospects had improved as a result of completing an apprenticeship.