THE boss of a Taunton-based company is off to the House of Lords on Tuesday to give his take on apprenticeships.

Nigel Overthrow, managing director of plumbing and heating firm Convections Ltd, has been invited by Baroness Wall to talk about his experiences of taking on teenagers to learn on the job.

“We’ve trained a lot of apprentices over the years,” said Mr Overthrow, who has been in the businesses for 34 years and set up his firm in 2003.

“The Lords committee wants input from various people from across the country and for me it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give my views.

“I think I was probably recommended because of my connection with Summit Skills – (a Government-backed organisation that oversees training) – and training provider JTL.

“The Lords are looking at the future of apprenticeships in this country and it’s important that they speak to employers who have actually been working with apprentices.

“Having worked in the industry for as long as I have and trained as many apprentices as I have gives me the ideal opportunity to have my say.

“I’m impressed to be given this opportunity.”

Mr Overthrow said his company had always supported the idea of taking on apprentices aged 17 to 19.

“It’s the only way that young people learn properly about the industry,” he said.

“Not all of them have completed their apprenticeships for various reasons, but it’s a good way of finding out if you[‘re suitable for the job.”