From apprentice to manager: Max’s story

From apprentice to manager: Max’s story Image

In June 2014 Max Bushell had just finished his final year at secondary school and was busy deciding on what he wanted his future career to be, and how he’d get there.

He knew he wanted to get a trade under his belt and jump straight into learning on the job, so soon after, joined our heating and plumbing company, Hales and Coultas, as a Plumbing Apprentice.

After two years of learning the basics he made the move to a new company, where he would gain further experience in the mechanical and engineering field.

In 2018 Max was back. He re-joined Hales and Coultas to conclude his apprenticeship, and was then taken on as a full time Gas Engineer.

It was during this time he completed commercial gas, air source and FGas (refrigeration and air-conditioning) qualifications, along with staying up to date with the latest technology in the industry.

Then in March 2021, just three years after completing his apprenticeship, the role of Plumbing and Heating Manager at Hales and Coultas became available. Max was successful in his application for this role and at the age of just 24, was given his first opportunity in the world of management.

He now manages a team of 17 staff, and his main duties include running and overseeing large commercial projects and domestic contracts for private customers.

When asked about his role he said: “Management was a big step up, so I’m learning on the job every day. At the start of the role, my biggest challenge was communication and managing expectations.

“However, I have received some great mentoring and am looking forward to enrolling on a number of management training courses and continuing to learn.”

Max is passionate about offering apprenticeships to the next generation and is a keen advocate for those considering it. He said: “An apprenticeship in a building trade opens so many doors in terms of development and opportunities.

“It has helped me get into property development, because you learn so many skills and meet so many skilled contacts. Even if you start by doing really basic domestic jobs, you need to learn these primary skills to get into all of the exciting job roles that are out there.”

When asked what his biggest achievement was, Max said: “Getting accredited as a Commercial Gas Engineer.

“This is the type of work that I really enjoy most, I like the smaller domestic jobs as well but nothing interests me more than big commercial plant rooms, as opposed to just a residential boiler.”

Hales and Coultas have employed seven apprentices over the last four years, with five being taken on to full time employment.

Michelle Mills, Manager at Hales and Coultas said: “We are very proud of Max and all he has achieved. His story proves how fantastic the apprenticeship scheme is, and how you can work your way up through hard work and commitment.

“As a company we love investing in young people and providing them with the relevant skills and training they need to get to where they want to be. We’ve got a great record of apprentice success and we can’t wait for even more in the future.”

To find out more about their team or for their latest vacancies and apprenticeship opportunities, go to their website: