Nathan Walters

Busting a myth that apprenticeships are ‘for school leavers’ – Nathan Walters joined Cadent’s 2023 cohort more than 20 years after leaving school. 

Nathan, 38, from Denton, had chased a dream of making music (he’s a rapper, aka Xtra Time), while also working in a housing association call centre.  

And it was while booking in jobs for gas engineers to fix issues at clients’ properties that he started to think: “This sounds like a job worth looking at!” 

After getting permission to condense his weekly hours to four days, he spent the day he gained earning experience in the trade and gaining qualifications. He then saw that Cadent was taking on apprentices and made the decision to apply. 

Nathan, a dad-of-one, said: “I wasn’t sure if my age would be an issue – and it just hasn’t been at all. There are apprentices here of different ages and experiences.” 

He added: “I’m an apprentice FCO [first call operative], which means I’d be first on the scene of what might be a gas escape. You have people’s lives in your hands, and you just have to know what to do. It is mind-blowing how much information you need to take in, but it’s a great challenge and exciting. I have never been as content at work. Meeting lots of different people and travelling to different places.”