DIY SOS star meets first boss’s grandson at St Albans college
PUBLISHED: 13:31 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:51 08 March 2018
A TV personality who came to St Albans to inspire young apprentices has a surprise meeting with the grandson of his first boss.
DIY SOS star Billy Byrne visited Oaklands College on Hatfield Road to talk to students in aid of National Apprenticeship Week 2018.
After his talk first-year electrical apprentice Elliot Green, 18, came up and introduced himself to Billy - he is the grandson of Billy’s first boss and teacher in the late 60s, John Vurghan.
Billy said: “It’s great because obviously this is running in the family from his grandad. John was great, he was calm and the only time I ever saw him lose it was when we played football at lunch.
“He was a lovely guy and I am so proud to meet Elliot.”
John trained Billy through a six year apprenticeship with May and Robinson’s.
He added: “I come and speak to the apprentices because all my life, when I was young, I thought I needed an apprenticeship.
“Then it went quiet and everyone wanted to be in IT rather than get apprenticeships - but now apprenticeships are being revitalised and now if you are an apprentice you are made for life so long as you work at it. The more you work at it, the more it will benefit you in the future.”
In his talk to the students, Billy stressed safety is a number one priority.
“You chose a good path because an electrician is a promising trade, you get so much respect out there.
“What I need to say to you is what you learn now, the more you take on board, the better results you will get afterwards.
“Once you are an electrician you can go anywhere, you can go abroad, come back, and still work. You have got a job for life. It is a good job, it is a great job. Go to work and enjoy it, you are on a journey and never be afraid to ask questions.”
The students also listened to Tony Cable, a freelance consultant at electrical distributor and manufacturer Scolmore, and technical presenter for the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), Jake Green.
Billy was an original member of the DIY SOS cast. Workmen on the BBC show revamp the homes of people who have suffered hardship.