What is your name and the course you’re studying?

My name is Edward Bailey and I am on the apprenticeship course for electricians.


Why did you choose to become an apprentice?

I wanted a career change. I wanted something I could do for the rest of my life because I got to that point where I sat in an office. I didn’t want to be in office anymore. I liked using my hands and actually walking around and, you know, staying fit at the same time. I find it really interesting. I’m a bit of a tinkerer as well. Trade Skills was the first one I came to. It was really good. I enjoyed it and I started a job in October, and that job has allowed me to come onto the apprenticeship course where I can learn the rest of the skills needed to help the guys at work and then hopefully help myself out for the rest of the jobs.


What did you think of the course?

It’s really well structured. The online learning is fantastic. It incorporates all the different methods that people learn with. So if you are a visual learner, all the visuals are there. If you learn verbally, all the speaking there, and then if you learn what doing, you come into the classroom and most of the classroom work is all practical as well. So you’ve got probably 10% sat in the seat, 90% you’re actually installing cables, putting socket fronts on. And it’s just a lot better learning situation from what I’ve heard, other apprenticeships have done.


What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

The benefits of doing an apprenticeship are you can learn at different paces. So rather than you getting thrown into an environment where you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, you’ve got a personal tutor that can help you answer any questions for you so you don’t get stuck. Literally stood in front of something going, ‘What on earth do I do now when there is nobody about?” But when you hear you’re fully supported, you’ve got backing from your own company, you’ve got backing from the Trades Skills guys and your personal tutor as well and it’s all part of learning.


What do you think of the tutors?

I’ve had Sam and Brendan this week, who are absolutely fantastic. Sam I had on the stepping stone one. So at the very start when I knew absolutely nothing. She’s a great girl to work with. Made everything easy and Brendan’s knowledge is fantastic. He’s really shown us all the practical things, certain things I didn’t know about, so I’d like the network and cable in the armour core. Just trying to get it together properly as well. He’s really broke it down for us. It’s really good.


What do you think of the training centre?

I think the center is very well equipped. It’s a great location as well. It’s out of the way. It’s quite outside and inside as well. All the bays and as you can see in this room as well, all the workstations are well equipped and great for what we need to do for them. It gets you into the environment and into the mindset of what you need to be.


Do you have any advice for new apprentices?

I would say do it now., do it early. Get on it, get with the Trade Skills guys, because this course is fantastic. You know, it’s totally different from doing it inside a college. And I think it’s going to revolutionize the way all the colleges will do it from now on because these guys are ahead of the game. So definitely do it.


Would you recommend Trade Skills 4U to other people?

So definitely do it. I would absolutely recommend trade Skills to other people. I found them on a whim, contacted them. The customer service lines are fantastic. You know, they answered all my questions before I committed and as soon as I committed, the guys in centre absolutely fantastic. You know, they understand your working level and they can cater and adjust it for anybody and anyone coming through. So absolutely recommend them.


What do you think of Spiral Learning?

The Spiral Learning I think is a great way of doing things. It mixes it up as well. All these different ways of doing things. Coming into the workshop, doing the virtual classrooms and going away and doing your own learning as well. It all adds to your knowledge. It gives you that opportunity to go away and do your own thing and keep motivated as well. So rather than just reading from a textbook and then trying to write down notes and everything, all the resources are already there for you and the practical side of it as well. It gives you that knowledge and you’ve actually got that muscle memory now that you’ve built from actually doing the installs yourself.