Tony Sullivan - Case Study
Name: Tony Sullivan
Course: C&G 2365 L2 & L3
Why did you choose to train as an electrician?
I chose to train as an electrician for a number of reasons. I have worked in and out of various trades most of my working life. I usually worked as a mate or laborer, never as a skilled trades person. A jack of all trades, a master of none, so to speak. I recently became a farther and wanted to be able to provide a good life for my son and quickly realized that was going to be difficult as an unskilled trades person, because of the pay cap. I decided to get qualified and the trade I enjoyed and had the most experience in was as an electrician's laborer. There is also a huge shortage of electricians in the UK and abroad.
What did you do before training to be an electrician?
Before training to be an electrician I worked in various jobs, there is not much I haven't done. I served in the Army, Merchant Navy, most trades, telesales, in factories and the list goes on.
Why did you decide to take the C&G 2365 course and how has this helped you?
The reason I decided to do the C&G 2365 course was. I was struggling to break into the industry. I applied for numerous apprenticeships with the likes of, British Aerospace and United Utilities. Even though I passed all tests and going to final interviews, I never got the apprenticeship offer. I got some off the record feedback and it was because of my age. I was against fresh school leavers with all there certificates but no experience and I was the opposite. After getting nowhere with the on the job apprenticeship route with a company I decided to get my qualifications myself and look at the options. After lots of research I found the only real option I had was to go get the knowledge and experience I needed through a training provider. I came across TS4U and the C&G 2365 level 2 and 3 courses. This course was just what I was looking for. I gained enough knowledge and experience that I became desirable to employers, receiving multiple job offers within the industry and to further my qualifications within the job roles. It also gave me the option to start my own business as a registered electrician.
What was your training experience like with Trade Skills 4U?
My training experience with TS4U was great and far exceeded my expectations. I can't recommend them enough as a training provider. The teachers were amazing and really went out their way to help me with anything I was struggling with and had so much theory and practical knowledge between them. The training centre was state-of-the-art and everything was provided that was needed. The receptionists were especially helpful. My experience was nothing but a positive one from start to end. By the time I had finished my course I had enough knowledge and practical experience to either start out on my own doing domestic work or having the confidence to apply for an electrician's mate and continuing studying for further qualifications, which is the route I took.
Are you planning on taking any other electrical courses?
Since completing my C&G 2365 with TS4U, I got a fulltime time employment as a stage 3 trainee (electricians' mate) and went on to do my NVQ Level 3 and AM2 test. I am now booked on and waiting to do my C&G 2391-52 Inspection and Testing with Trade Skills 4U. This will then allow me to, carry out and sign off various testing and certificates for my employer and give me approved status on my JIB gold card.
What did you enjoy about the course?
I enjoyed every aspect of my course. More the practical than the theory side of the course. I enjoyed completing full installs and powering them up, learning to bend steel conduit, install and connect up circuits to distribution boards. What stood out the most for me was the testing side of the course, so much so I am pursuing an inspection and testing career more than installation work.
What did you find most challenging about the course?
What I found most challenging about the course was transposition of formula. However, the teachers took the time to help me 1 on 1 until I understood. It's an intense course and there is a lot to learn but TS4U have the perfect structure of learning in place to get you from start to finish with little or no previous knowledge or experience.
Did you have any on site experience whilst studying?
While in training I did manage to find a job with a local firm doing mainly domestic work. I started a few weeks into Level 2 and worked on my 2-week breaks in between studying, this allowed me to put into further practice what I was learning on the C&G 2365 with TS4U. I worked for a small 1-man company mainly doing domestic houses and commercial flat rewires. Including testing and inspecting which was great to put into practice what I had learned so far at TS4U out in the real world.
Have you found employment since training with TS4U?
Since finishing my course I have gained full time employment for a company with big contracts with the likes of, Premier Inn, Beefeater and Footlocker. It was thanks to the knowledge, practical skills and qualifications I gained through TS4U which made it fairly easy to get a job within the industry and allow me to train further and gain more qualifications.
What advice would you give to someone looking at training to become an electrician?
The advice I would give someone looking to train as an electrician is - if you are like me and struggling to break into the industry with no previous knowledge or experience through employment-based training, then this is the best option. Start with the C&G 2365 or something similar through a training provider as this will give you more than enough knowledge and experience for you to become desirable to employers. After researching heavily and through my own experience Trade Skills 4U are the best in the country. So much so I continue to use them for all my courses even though there are other training providers a lot closer to where I live.
How would you describe the facilities and training at Trade Skills 4U?
The facilities are state-of-the-art and up to current industry standards. All tools and testing equipment is provided, along with endless course material covering every aspect of the course, mock exams to practice for tests and exceptional teachers and support, I honestly can't recommend them enough.
Would you recommend TS4U as a training provider?
Highly and will always be my go-to for any courses I need to do in the future like the C&G 2391-52 I have just booked on to with them.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to get my C&G 2391-52 so I can pursue a career in testing with my current employer. I'm also looking at the EV Charging course with TS4U and possibly further down the line look into my Level 4 and design.
Did you have help with funding your course?
The charities that have helped me are SSAFA, Civvy Street and the Royal British legion. A good place to look for any type of funding is a website called turn2us, it’s a benefits calculator but also has a tab for charity and funding. Fill the online application out and it will give you a list of every charity and organisation that you are eligible for help from and how to apply, it’s amazing. The JIB also have funding available for certain courses and further education, they paid 75% towards my NVQ/AM2. I was also assisted by the Llyod Trust that is available for people who are from Darwen who are struggling financially and need help with various situations in their life. City and Guilds have funding available for their courses, they are really good and info is on their website. Also there is an Electrical Industries Charity that will help struggling electricians. All the above is available regardless of serving in the military. As for military funding I would strongly advise that every service person read their service leavers pack, it has every type of help and funding in there available to all ex service personnel and is available even if you only served 1 day. There are a lot of charities for all different professions, army, chefs cleaners and so on and if you have worked in that sector for so long you can get funding to retrain in a different profession. It's the best place to start for both ex-service and civvys if struggling to fund courses.