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Hi all and welcome to todays Blog. As you may or may not know at Hodgsons Chimney Sweeps we are a family run Chimney Sweeping Company Since 1964. All of us, myself, my father, grandfather and great grandfather all served an apprenticeship.

Danny Hodgson helping Daniel Hodgson during his apprenticeship sweeping and CCTV inspecting several chimneys

My Apprenticeship lasted just under 3 years and taught me everything from cleaning, inspection, maintenance, testing, installation, even how to strip victorian fireplaces and cut, polish and bevel slates this was all part of our day to day works in Grandads Fireplace Shop.

During my Apprenticeship the emergence of Chimney Sweeping Training came about and we used this as part of my training, including HETAS training which provided us with technical updates and regulations updates.

So where have the apprentices gone now? It seems that for the last 10 or so years the apprenticeship route has seen a massive decline, and this is not because of the lack of people wanting to become chimney sweeps, this was because of easily accessible 2,3 and 4 day courses. These courses were designed to teach you the barebones basics and although useful they cannot replace an apprenticeship.

Hodgsons Chimney Sweeps family run chimney sweeping company since 1964

Luckily Sweep Safe are adopting learning routes which are similar to that of a traditional apprenticeship, this stays within their values of not training new chimney sweeps in an already saturated marketplace. This also helps businesses already in the trade who have been running a long time, to grow and teach their staff over a longer period. They can then take a course or be formally assessed to refresh and reinforce what they have learned.

Sometimes its good to look back, and go back to where we used to be.

Thank you for reading.

Danny Hodgson

Sweep Safe Certified Chimney Sweep and South West Regional Assessor

Hodgsons Chimney Sweeps logo Sweep Safe Look for the certified Logo

4 Responses to “Time Served Apprenticeships”

  1. Andy Barnes - AKA The Chimney Doctor Ltd

    Agree entirely – I wonder if Sweep Safe could work with members to provide and encourage apprenticeships more explicitly? Training days / accreditation / milestones for learning? Short-term “suck it and see sweeps” who get cheap training and then mess up the market place until they walk away are going to kill apprenticeships until and unless we can rise above that level as businesses.

    • Daniel Hodgson

      Hi Andy. We are talking currently about possible routes for apprentices. We feel strongly that the apprenticeship route is the most logical way forward.

  2. Marc Smith

    It’s the same in the woodwork industry Danny, we get 15/16 year olds coming to us all the time wanting an apprenticeship in cabinet making/kitchen making. But the closest college that offer this is about 90mins drive away. Exeter college don’t want to know unless they are doing general carpentry and joinery. So we went down that route but our business didn’t cover enough of the courses modules so we were refused. Doesn’t give you a lot of hope for the youngsters of today wanting to get on!


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