Sector

20 August 2021

Meet the member: Next Gen Pest Tech

MEET THE MEMBER | PPC104 AUGUST 2021

Jack Tully is the first apprentice pest technician at BPCA member Integrum Services and passed his RSPH Level 2 earlier this year at just 17 years old. He took part in a quick-fire question session with PPC.

17 year old Jack Tully apprentice pest technician at BPCA member Integrum Services

How did you get into pest management?

I started with Integrum when I was 16, as a summer job helping one of the bird teams. I really enjoyed the work, I found it interesting and wanted to learn more!

When I spoke with Jamie (one of the directors) about it he started looking into how we could do it and managed to get the education authority to agree to the programme, which was great.

How did you find the Level 2 Award in Pest Management?

It was challenging! It was quite in-depth and I had no idea it would be so involved. I enjoyed learning about rodents and insects, but found the legislation quite challenging.

What are you most looking forward to now you’re a qualified pest professional?

 I’m really looking forward to passing my driving test and getting out in my own van. I think this will help develop me further and challenge me.

Have you set your sights on any other training and development?

I’m looking forward to completing my IPAF, and once I’ve gained a bit more knowledge and experience I want to take my certificated advanced technician.

How did Integrum support your learning? Did you learn most stuff in the field or did you spend a lot of time with your head in textbooks?

I spent most of the time in the field with my mentor, Ryan (field staff manager). He took the things I was learning in textbooks and in formal training, and put them into context, with real life practical examples.

The online learning available from BPCA was also particularly helpful and informative.

We also spoke to Peter Bowers-Davis, Director at Integrum, about Jack’s development.

How did you approach Jack’s training? What provisions and plans did you put in place?

When Jack expressed an interest in developing pest management as a career, we looked at how we could offer this, there being no apprenticeship training programme in existence.

We ended up building a bespoke training programme, from general health and safety through to structured learning, finally with him completing his RSPH Level 2 Award.

What were the challenges in taking on a 16 year old?

The biggest challenge was Jack’s age regarding the legal requirement to stay in education. Once we designed and documented his training programme, this was presented to the local authority which accepted this as formal training and education.

We also had to speak with our insurers to make sure our policies would cover Jack.

What are your hopes for Jack?

The next challenge Jack faces is passing his driving test! Unfortunately, Covid-19 has delayed this but his van is ready and waiting for him once he passes.

Jack has already completed PASMA training and is looking forward to completing his IPAF soon.

The lack of a formal apprenticeship is a real barrier to young and developing talent joining our industry.

Peter Bowers-David, Director - Integrum

Why do you think it’s important to encourage and train new talent?

It’s important to encourage young blood and talent to our industry. Pest management is a great industry to work in!

The lack of a formal apprenticeship is a real barrier to young and developing talent joining our industry.

By delivering in-house apprenticeship programmes, it allows us as an industry to bring in young people early and develop them into great pest professionals.

We are seeing more and more technology being developed for the pest control sector and this is something younger pest controllers can really embrace.

Do you have any tips for other members thinking about taking on a young trainee?

Don’t be disheartened by the lack of a formal apprenticeship scheme; design and build a programme and have a chat with the local education authority.

And check your insurance policies! You will find a few of them have an 18+ clause.

LOOKING INTO APPRENTICESHIPS?

If you're thinking you'd like to take on an apprentice but you need advice on where to start, get in touch and we can try to point you in the right direction.

training@bpca.org.uk

Source: PPC104

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